Snapchat launches face masks for 2020 March on Washington

Six black artists were enlisted to create digital face mask filters and Bitmoji accessories for Snapchat. Real, physical versions are also available to purchase.

Snapchat has released a set of new selfie filters that allow users to wear digital face masks to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the March on Washington.

Six artists were enlisted to design original pieces that celebrated recent racial justice causes and protests, most notably the Black Lives Matter movement. The collection is called ‘Raise Your Voice’ and was created in partnership with The Rebuild Foundation, an organisation dedicated to creative arts and architecture projects in Chicago.

Snapchat users can choose from six augmented-reality masks, each with its own colourful feel and message. The designers include Laci Jordan, Mikel Patrick Avery, Marcio Lima, Chelsea Alexander, Theaster Gates, and the collective No Kings. These new filters were created to inspire those who can’t go to Washington due to social distancing measures and to promote racial empowerment and social change without putting yourself or others at risk.

Artists Laci Jordan, Chelsea Alexander, and the collective No Kings have designed "Raise Your Voice" Bitmoji face mask and t-shirt accessories for Snapchat. Photo courtesy of Snapchat and the Rebuild Foundation.

In a statement, Snapchat’s creative strategist Ish Fofana explained that ‘masks have taken on a new utility and meaning, and we wanted to provide Snapchatters with a unique opportunity for self-expression’. Those who do attend however can use a unique lens that’s only activated when they point their camera at the US Capitol Building. Check out this gif below that shows the lens in all its glory.

Chelsea Alexander's "Raise Your Voice" landmark lens for Snapchat transforms the US Capitol Building. Photo courtesy of Snapchat and the Rebuild Foundation.

Phrases on the digital masks include ‘Our Voices Have Power’, ‘Together Even In Hard Times’, and ‘Progress’. Theaster Gates said he viewed the project as ‘an embodiment of the mantra that I try to tell myself every day, that especially in hard times, we need each other more’.

You can also buy any of the six designs on real, actual masks via the Rebuild Foundation website. All of the profits made from your purchase will go straight back into the organisation and will help fund new projects throughout Chicago – and they look great too.

The filter and lens is available on Snapchat right now and can be used by anyone, even those outside of the US. All you need to do is search for ‘Raise Your Voice’ in the app and it’ll appear, complete with all six masks. Being socially empowered never looked so damn good.

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