Ben Carrier, Human Rights Activist

May 12, 15 Ben Carrier, Human Rights Activist

Ben Carrier, a grade 12 student, is one of the many human rights activists we have supporting people of all genders, race, age, and sexualities at Bathurst High School. There isn’t very much difference between any of our activists, as they all try their best, however, Ben is very passionate about human rights. This month at BHS activists wore red lipstick to raise awareness of sexual assault, and thanks to Carrier, even more people have participated than estimated. When asked about why raising awareness about a cause like this is so important, Carrier responded with:

“I think that raising awareness about Red My Lips in BHS is going to teach this generation, and the younger students about the seriousness of sexual assault. That it’s a very important cause we have to educate people about.”

In a high school setting, with ignorance, it can be hard to convince people to take part in a cause involving people wearing makeup. Especially males, most of the time, they aren’t very attracted to the idea of putting on red lipstick. Even some women may feel that they could never rock the red lip, but that isn’t the point.

“People need to get over the idea of wearing red lipstick, and pay attention to how this would spread awareness.”

Since, Carrier has gained an amazing amount of support, students of all genders have been participating in Red My Lips, and not just for fun. Along with wearing red lipstick, students are being educated about the cause. Through this, awareness is being spread throughout BHS.

Carrier is also known for his many awareness art pieces. He expresses most of his awareness and protest pieces in an art form. This year, Carrier had the arms of 23 people plastered, and used as tree branches, painted red with red yarn to raise awareness about self-harm.

“The arms are constructed in a tree as tree branches to show that you’re not alone. They symbolize how there are many people who self-harm. If we know who they are or not, it just shows that many people are going through it. Raising awareness about self-harm may bring people together, just like the tree.”

Being the artist that he is, Ben had also constructed a face mask during this semester. The face mask was a representation of what beauty is supposed to look like, and what it’s not. Symbolizing a beauty standards protest.

“I made the mask to protest beauty standards [that beauty is subjective] because I wanted to prove a point that everyone is beautiful in their own way. One side of the mask is made to look like the average “pretty” girl, and the other side is exotic and different. It shows how both are beautiful.”

Carrier also had done two anti-war protest pieces, one where he took a stance of silence for one day, and had people sign a shirt that raised awareness about war. And one canvas painting relating to the recent media coverage of Ferguson and other peaceful protests going on. The painting is of a man wearing a mask saying “hands up don’t shoot” with hands in the air. Through art, Carrier has managed to spread awareness about causes.

“Not everyone pays attention to articles and the news; people who are more visual will see art and understand what it means instead of just hearing about it.” [He says verbal information can go out of one ear and out through the other] “I want to change that and make sure everyone is aware of what’s going on and raise awareness about war.”

Carrier is overall a very big human rights activist. He goes out of his way to educate people, and gets them to understand, and participate. He is very passionate about what he’s doing. He’s an activist because he goes out there and educates people, he participates in protests, and he fully believes in the rights of all people.