Since early 2020, the AAPI (Asian-American and Pacific Islander) community has borne the brunt of the blame concerning the global pandemic. Things like racial slurs, xenophobia and stereotypes have circulated for far too long either from others being resentful or have preconceived notions embedded into their attitude towards the AAPI community. Despite these factors existing pre-COVID, with the association of COVID-19 with East Asian countries, the hate towards the AAPI community has only gotten far worse. What is even more concerning is that despite Asian-Americans contributing to a significant amount of the population, the lack and stereotypical portrayal of AAPI has been further perpetuated through the media. Thus, we need to redefine this representation in movies, tv-shows, music, and social media platforms so that the inaccurate portrayal is just a thing of the past. By recognizing and supporting AAPI in the media that do exist, we can all be Tagaini and eradicate AAPI hate and discrimination.

What it does

Taigaini creates an immersive experience through the compilation of all AAPI media–including music and content creators–for the community to learn more about and engage with. The website creates a safe and welcoming space for both the non-AAPI and AAPI community, to either learn more about Asian culture, or learn to be proud of their heritage. When engaging with our website, viewers should feel enticed and interested to discover more, as using our website is only half of the destination in achieving our ultimate goal. The AAPI needs greater representation online and through the media, and we hope to highlight these talented artists, actors, or creators in a new light and expose them to a wider audience.

How we built it

Before beginning anything, discussion and planning remains at any new project. The team began by discussing a cause that they would be passionate about doing and we generated an idea together. Afterwards, a design prototype was done through Figma, so that other members could follow the exact replica through development, and finally, HTML and CSS was used for the front-end of the website. Expectedly, through each stage of the project it was made on the core basis of love and togetherness, even when disruptions and unexpected outcomes occurred.

Challenges we ran into

This was almost everyone’s first time coding frontend since most of us had more experience with backend of design skills. For instance, we faced a lot of difficulty in regards to inaccurate placements, fonts not loading, and mistakes that we could not debug. These are only some of the challenges we faced. With limited time, the biggest challenge was the hover feature over the media – we had to sacrifice some vital components to make time for this feature. Lastly, being consistent in terms of mimicking Figma styling elements and those interactions was also challenging in a short time frame, often dealing with unwanted technical difficulties. Despite these challenges, every member learned immensely in their own skillset; they were able to ask for help and grow as an individual. While the mental resilience was difficult, we ultimately managed to pull through and do our best.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Despite challenges when working on our project, we managed to create a fully functional web application in 36 hours that executed our initial vision and image perfectly. In addition, we were able to work on a social cause that each team member felt passionate about and truly would impact the world. Furthermore, we were able to experiment with new pieces of technology, in particular, with design visualization.

What we learned

While doing research, every team member learned how warped AAPI representation in the media industry is. Despite improvements from the release of “Crazy Rich Asians” in 2018, this is only the beginning of prominent change. For instance, stereotypes such as small eyes, yellow face, and being academically smart in movies and shows are still present in what might be your favourite form of de-stressing. However, there is still a limited amount of AAPI representation seen for the majority of shows and only a few AAPI actors are able to make it in the industry. By diving into this topic more, we were able to recognize the significance of this issue. Moreover, in terms of the technical side, as beginner hackers we learned a ton. The majority of us had not dealt with new languages and were able to reach past our limits and try something new, despite the frustration and difficulty. Through this, we were able to implement and explore new features that ultimately benefited the website.

What's next for Tagaini

By creating a newsletter to keep subscribers up to date on recent news beyond only media, the platform can help actively create change and awareness for the AAPI community. Further, as our site continues to grow through word of mouth social media promotion, we will be able to offer advertising to companies and creators, allowing us to donate towards large organizations. Tagaini has a promising future, and by working to unite communities and break down the stereotypes of AAPIs, we can ultimately achieve our goal to stopping AAPI discrimination around the world.

Built With

Share this project: