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visual communication practice

Cage Space



Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

In Australia, around 12 million battery caged hens are confined to a space smaller than an a4 piece of paper (around 21.59 x 27.94cm). They spend almost their entire life within this space without access to sun, proper ventilation and the space needed to perform their natural behaviours such as preening, dust bathing and foraging. At around 18 months of age the hens are considered ‘spent’ and are then sent to the slaughterhouse. If still considered viable however, they will be allowed to live for another year (the typical lifespan of a hen is around 10 – 12yrs). The hens are then replaced by four month old chicks and the cycle restarts.

The work is a kind of guerilla-style campaign aiming to make the public aware of these appalling statistics and realities about how egg-laying hens are farmed within Australia. In making the public aware of the issue I hope to encourage debate, change people’s perceptions and ultimately foster an inquiry into how food is produced as a whole within Australia.

The campaign itself is a pamphlet made up of seven a4 sheets of paper (reflecting the size of the space the hens are confined to). Six of these seven sheets feature a single fact relating to battery caged hens, while the 7th page features a QR code linking viewers/participants to a site where they can make pledges, sign petitions and essentially take action on battery caged chickens in Australia.

In providing viewers with links to websites where they can take action on the issue, I hope to leave the viewer empowered, rather than leaving them with a feeling of being doomed and ultimately allowing them to see that they are the ones able to instigate change within the industry.

Essentially the aim of the work is to increase awareness of battery cage hens within Australia and therefore provoke scrutiny of the food industry and ultimately cause change.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

The communication approach that has been used is a campaign (both on the internet and as pamphlets) that strives to not only inform the public but also encourage them to take action on issues surrounding battery-caged hens. T-Shirts and large-scale posters were also mocked up to demonstrate how the campaign could be pushed further.
I chose to create the website on social networking site Tumblr as it gives me the opportunity to connect with million of users and so further the campaign.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

It is difficult to assume concrete benefits, however if the campaign was to be successful I believe that the concrete benefits of the communication would be education, increased awareness and therefore scrutiny of food production and ultimately change.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

Through reading/viewing the prescribed texts I have learnt that the breadth and magnitude of the problems created within the food industry, both within Australia and worldwide are monumental, with the issue of battery-caged hens being but a small link in a chain of monstrosities. Also there needs to be an increased awareness of such issues.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

My work is GOOD communication WORK because it offers both simple, direct facts that educate the viewer and therefore provoke scrutiny of the food industry.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

The pamphlets are intended to be placed within supermarkets, fast food restaurants or anywhere else where battery cage eggs are sold/consumed.
In essence, patrons would find the pamphlets ‘hidden’ within aisles, on chairs/tables etc and would either take the pamphlets with them or read them/scan them and return them. Word of mouth would also further the application of this campaign.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)



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Entry details


Cage Space



Concept author(s)

Billy Burns

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Did it all



Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

University of Ballarat (Graphic Design/Multimedia)