Let's reconsider the image we are conveying to the public in everything we do: presentations, booths, films, flyers, etc. Are we conveying the whole truth--what Falun Dafa is, the core principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance, the courage and determination of practitioners facing the severe persecution in China, the tireless and creative efforts of practitioners everywhere to bring the whole truth of Dafa to light? Are we conveying the dignity of Dafa? Or are we leaving the public with the notion that we are just another ordinary group of victims of torture and persecution?

We need to convey the whole truth of who we are, not just the truth of the persecution. We also have to consider what's appropriate for the audience. Enlarged photos of injured victims of torture (especially the backsides of naked women) are appropriate as printed documents to offer passersby as well as NGO's and governmental agencies, but are they appropriate to display on the street at a festival or fair? Do they convey the dignity of Dafa?

Heroes or Victims? Hope or Despair?

Helplessness and hopelessness are common human notions. We've been well taught by the media. Most of the news is shockingly bad, focused on disasters and victims, and we are helpless and hopeless in the face of it all. The media policy of "If it bleeds, it leads" in the news coverage offers people nothing to aspire to, is deviated and serves the evil. Our message about Dafa, on the other hand, is encouraging and uplifting because it shows the way out of the morass that the human world is in.á

Images are Powerful.

Consider some of the familiar powerful positive images: the statue of the American WW II soldiers raising the flag at Iwo Jima, the pro-democracy activist facing the tanks in Tiananmen Sq. in 1989, Elißn Gonzales' survival at sea after fleeing Cuba. Let's convey the most powerful images of the courage and determination of Dafa practitioners in the face of brutal persecution - images of the practitioners who unfurl banners in Tiananmen Sq. and of Tan Yongyiie, when he's up and walking. (Tan is the practitioner who escaped to the US from a Chinese labor camp after being severely burned by prison guards.) We also have pictures of the worldwide walkers and of all of us, in various ways, telling the truth to the public. These pictures can convey that this is the biggest non-violent but nonpolitical movement since Gandhi, a movement to protect goodness in the world.

Consider Danny Schechter's documentary made for Falun Gong, Real Story II. There are pictures and reports of torture, but practitioners' heroic spirits shine through it all: the secret press conference in Beijing, practitioners' public testimony before Congress, the little boy in the red shirt at the end, the quotation about Falun Gong being the most important spiritual movement in Asia, and much more.

We could have a poster showing people holding banners (in Boston, etc. as well as Tiananmen Sq.), tabling, passing out flyers, testifying beforeáCongress, holding press conferences and candlelight vigils juxtaposed in the same poster with appropriate images of persecution, perhaps of police assaulting practitioners in Tiananmen. Square.á Truthfulness - Compassion -Tolerance would be displayed in a prominent place. The pictureáwould say it all:á "This is what we do and why, and you can participate."ááA caption could be: "If you did this in China, you'd be arrested and worse."

Another image to consider: a large figure of a practitioner holding the wheel above the head.á The figure is superimposed on Tiananmen Square, with a well-known landmark of the Square visible between her upraised hands.á I imagine small images of policemen in various activities under the figure's feet.á Caption:á "Upholding [or clarifying] the truth [or Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance] in Tiananmen Square."á This could be done relatively quickly as a collage of photographs.á The practitioner could be anyone, anywhere, as it would clearly be a representational picture, not reality.á

This would be a visual representation of the SOS! Urgent: Rescue Falun Gong Practitioners Persecuted in China campaign, but with a different image. We could be known as the people who courageously and tirelessly defend Truthfulness - Compassion -Tolerance in the face of severe persecution - heroes to be emulated, not victims to be pitied.

See also "Validating Dafa by Not Just Exposing the Evil But Revealing the Courage of Practitioners to People Around the World" http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/8/10/12839.html