Flash mobs are often used to communicate a political message. However, in recent years they have also been used to advertise upcoming events, commercial interests, raise awareness of an important issue, or simply to spread joy and happiness.
Lots of different flash mobs can be found on YouTube. Try to get a variety of examples to inspire participants, showing flash mobs fulfilling the different purposes referred to above.
The activity enables participants to create a flash mob that raises awareness on a specific issue or for a certain cause. Mobilising a flash mob will promote a sense of togetherness, empowerment and strength, as the participants achieve a common goal. The flash mob will be video recorded so it can be posted on a social media site to expand its reach.
1. Welcome the participants and introduce the activity:
“An effective way of catching people’s attention in a public space is by doing a flash mob. Flash mobs are often held to raise awareness of a political issue. They are also used more popularly to advertise upcoming events, commercial products or just to spread joy and make people happy. You are going to work together as a group and plan a flash mob! I would like you to choose an issue to bring to public attention.”
2. Ask the participants to brainstorm what they would like to do as a flash mob. It could be a dance, a performance, a song, etc. that they perform in a public space. Spend about 15 minutes showing various examples of flash mobs on YouTube.
3. If participants have lots of ideas, first list them all on a flipchart or chalkboard. Then ask the participants to discuss each of the ideas in turn and agree on one they are most passionate about and would like to raise awareness of as a unified group.
4. When they have decided on an issue or a cause, ask them to think about the following:
• What is the aim of the flash mob? What would you like to achieve with the flash mob and what do you expect from doing it, both in terms of your own experience and other people’s reactions?
• Who is it targeting? Remind the participants they can video the event and share it on a public social media site afterwards.
• What activity will you do? Will you dance, sing, chant, hold flags, etc.?
• Where will you do it? What venue would be most relevant, given the target group?
• When will you do it? Will you do it once or a few times?
• Who will do what in terms of preparing for and then doing the flash mob? Make sure everyone knows what his or her responsibilities are to make it a successful event. Agree who is going to participate in the actual flash mob and who is going to video it.
• What do you intend to do with the video footage of the flash mob after the event? Which social media sites will you use to share it, and what will be the aim of using social media
Following this introductory workshop, support and motivate the participants in the planning process and when they actually perform the flash mob.
After the flash mob has been performed, hold a final meeting with the participants. See the instructions for this meeting below:
1. Welcome the participants, and congratulate them on the flash mob.
2. Explain that you have asked them to come together again to reflect on how the process of planning and performing the flash mob went.
3. Start by asking them to share their reflections on the process of planning the flash mob.
4. When everyone has had the opportunity to contribute, ask them how the flash mob went, and how they felt when it was in action?
5. End the activity by thanking all the participants for their hard work, and encourage them to keep expressing themselves creatively and positively contributing to the community.