UAL Graduate Showcase Platform Policy
We are delighted that you are submitting your work to the largest online Graduate Showcase. We want to celebrate your work, but we also want to create an experience for the users of the platform that is not offensive, so we want to be clear below what should be identified on the platform as sensitive content.
This policy provides guidance on use of the UAL Graduate Showcase Platform (hereafter Showcase). The platform is viewable at graduateshowcase.arts.ac.uk.
- Creating a shared Showcase where content is sensitively, and sensibly, uploaded and presented;
- Preventing, where possible, any offence caused by any of our creative work, understanding and respecting that different viewing groups may have different reasons for taking offence;
- To protect children and vulnerable adults from potentially harmful or otherwise unsuitable content;
- To empower online visitors, particularly those with responsibility for children, to make an informed decision prior to entering a virtual space;
- Upholding UAL values including equality, diversity, inclusivity and sustainability.
The Showcase will relaunch on 30 June 2021 and we are working with our media and industry partners to bring as much attention to the site as possible in the period between 30 June and 13 July 2021.
All graduating students have the opportunity to upload a selection of original work in a digital format, which is presented in a single space for the student. Individual works may be selected for thematic curations.
The upload process is undertaken through each student’s existing login to UAL’s Portfolio tool.
You can find guidance on how to submit digital work on Portfolio.
The sooner you upload your work, the faster it will move through quality assurance before being published, and the greater the likelihood of it being included in Showcase collections.
New work and collections appear on Showcase all the time, and we do encourage you to upload your work even if it is after the relaunch.
Quality assurance of uploads
Work that is uploaded to the site will undergo a course quality assurance process (including quick proofing and technical review) to ensure that content is not displayed on the public pages of the Showcase which might infringe on the use of the platform or cause offence.
The quality assurance process will be undertaken by a different group of people depending on which College you study in and includes course leaders, technicians, creative directors and programme directors.
You will be updated by your College quality assurance team if they encounter a possible issue with any uploaded works, and you will have the opportunity to discuss this with them.
Display of works and curation
While all appropriate student work can be presented, the platform will also include specifically curated experiences around certain critical themes and agendas. Students’ work will be selected for these by staff and guests according to the following criteria:
- Strength, originality and relevance of concept.
- A realistic and achievable exhibit in the context of exhibition resources.
- Your work will be displayed in a public space with no age restriction so please ensure that your submission is tagged as sensitive content if it is not suitable for under-18s.
Content guide and restrictions for uploading to UAL Graduate Showcase platform
When you upload your work your quality assurance and course teams will check your work for sensitive content. This is anything that may cause offence, including on the grounds of sexual content, religious persecution, political statements, violence and cultural appropriation.
Where there is nudity in your work please tag the work as ‘sensitive content’ so that users of the site can make an informed decision. Remember, the explanation of your work and inspiration can be important.
Within the Showcase, at no point should the public be able to view such materials without prior warning to ensure an informed decision can be made before entering the space or exhibition work. This is why we have a sensitive content box that you can tick. It is important that you do so even if you think there is only a chance this work may cause offence, because we can always talk this through with you after you have submitted your work.
You can also talk to your course teams or creative director at any point about this for advice.
Considerations for uploaded works
Please consider the following in selecting and contextualising work for upload to Showcase. This section contains some works that we may not be able to present on the Showcase. If you are in doubt after reading this, please contact your course team or leader to discuss the work and its context.
How is the material presented? Factors such as the medium and forum for presentation used will impact on the classification. For example a painting maybe abstract or fanciful as opposed to a realistic photograph or film.
The manner in which it’s presented. Is it aggressive as opposed to humorous, for example, bad language used aggressively as opposed to in conversation in a film piece, or a weapon being shown with intent to harm as opposed to an object in a picture.
The treatment and the sensitivity of the theme should be taken into account. For example drug misuse, sexual violence, pornography, paedophilia, racial hatred or violence are unlikely to be appropriate for under 18s but the manner in which is it presented should be considered.
Tone and impact
The presentation of issues such as sex and violence may not be seen as over 18 but a dark or unsettling tone may increase the impact for the individual. Harmful behaviour which is glorified, condoned or seen to appear normal should also be considered.
Review of uploaded content
Taking into account the above general considerations, the following subjects will be further considered by the assurance team and course leaders.
Work that discriminates on the basis of race, gender, religion, disability or sexuality.
Work that normalises or glamorises the portrayal of drug taking or misuse.
Work which promotes criminal activity or anti-social behaviour such as bullying without criticism. Work which portray potentially dangerous activity such as hanging, suicide and self-harm which could be copied by a young person or vulnerable adult.
The extent of the offence can vary depending on the visitors background and own beliefs. Therefore it is mostly about how it used in conjunction with the general considerations above.
With no sexual context, nudity itself is not seen as indecent or explicit. It should not however, be viewable by the public outside of the event and so will not be selected for trailers and advertisements on social media.
Clear images of real sex, strong fetish material and/or sexual explicit images are classed as over 18. In some cases, such as in film or photography, if the sexual content is viewed as for the purpose of sexual arousal or stimulation then the content cannot be presented on the Showcase.
Threat and violence
If the work is viewed as unsettling or frightening for a younger or vulnerable visitor with no positive outcome then warnings – not necessarily over 18 – must be given. If the work depicts a violent or threatening act in a glorified or normalised manner then it may be considered over 18.
Indecent Displays (Control) Act 1981
If viewership of work should be restricted to over 18s only then a clear advisory will be presented at the access point to that curated experience, or student or course portfolio.
‘The work you are about to view contains content which some viewers may find challenging or offensive, and is not recommended for those under 18 years of age.’
The UAL Graduate Showcase will create a digital version of this information, so that all content that has been ticked as ‘sensitive’ will have a warning on the screen for visitors. We understand that some creative work uses sensitive content to explore a theme or human experience, so we will be more detailed so that platform users understand this, for example an on-screen message may say:
Further information on this act can be found here:
If UAL receives a complaint about a piece of work it may be necessary to remove it from a specific curation, or altogether from the Showcase. If this should happen the student will be kept informed as to the rationale and the nature of the complaint, and why the work has to be removed.
To avoid this eventuality, students submitting work to the platform should first speak to their course leader, where they anticipate that the work could cause complaint from the public.
Conflict with Terms and Conditions, Acceptable Use
If at any point a conflict is identified between this policy and the user Terms and Conditions or Acceptable Use policy for Showcase, then those documents will have precedent. This policy is provided for optional advice and guidance for students and staff.