B.C. poet Shane Koyczan is no stranger to being bullied as a kid. The poet, who gained notoriety for his inspired performance at the Vancouver Olympics opening ceremony, also knows that bullying can leave psychic scars that last years.
Earlier this year, Koyczan put a call-out to artists to animate "To This Day," a poem he wrote that tackles bullying head on. Each artist contributed 20-second clips and the contributions were stitched together into this seven-minute work. The result is this breathtakingly beautiful animation that explores living with bullying, depression and abuse.
The video is part of Pink Shirt Day, an anti-bullying awareness day in Vancouver that takes place on Feb. 27.
"Amazing work. Unfortunately, schools don't always get it right. It's stories like yours (and the many other files I read) that prompt me to do my job better, wholeheartedly, authentically. The way I would want my own children to experience the education system. Thanks for your willingness and vulnerability to tell your story," wrote Chantal Wiebe on Koyczan's Facebook page.
"To This Day" was produced by Vancouver's Giant Ant studios.
Mobile readers can watch the video here.
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Who got the last laugh here? Jessica Alba told the Daily Mirror in 2010 that she was <a href="http://blogs.mirror.co.uk/the-ticket/2010/06/jessica-alba-overcame-bullying.html">bullied so badly</a> by her classmates that her father had to escort her into school.
"Twilight" hunk Robert Pattinson claims he was bullied while attending <a href="http://www.metro.co.uk/showbiz/816987-robert-pattinson-i-was-bullied-at-school">Harrodian School</a> in west London, Metro UK reports. The actor apparently got hit a lot because he liked to "behave like an actor."
Oscar and Emmy winner Kate Winslet endured merciless taunting while in school, CBS News reports. Classmates mocked her weight by calling her "<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-207_162-2144550.html">Blubber</a>."
Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg's mother claims that neighbours in their suburban Phoenix, AZ community used to taunt the family. Eve Adler told 60 Minutes that people used to chant, "<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/22/steven-spielberg-anti-semitism-bullying_n_2002155.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-british-columbia&ir=Canada%20British%20Columbia">The Spielbergs are dirty Jews.</a>"
Now who got the upper hand here? Supermodel Tyra Banks was <a href="http://blog.sfgate.com/dailydish/2011/11/11/tyra-banks-opens-up-about-being-bullied/">teased by schoolmates</a> for her taller frame, the San Francisco Gate reported. But the bullying didn't end there. Early on in her modeling career she was taunted for her curvy figure.
The King of Rock and Roll didn't always have fans falling at his feet. The Daily Mail reports that Elvis Presley got bullied by fellow students at <a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1302136/Elvis-The-intimate-portrait-King-best-friend-29-years.html">Humes High School</a> because he never wore jeans.
Few celebrities have spoken out about bullying the way Demi Lovato has. Lovato told People.com that her detractors would write "<a href="http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20631674,00.html">hate petitions</a>" against her while she was in middle school. Lovato said at <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/10/18/we-day-vancouver-demi-lovato-desmond-tutu-youth_n_1980296.html">We Day Vancouver</a>, "I know there's someone out here in this audience who's being bullied and I know they need someone to look up to."
Chris Rock may be a funny guy, but the bullying he experienced in school is no joke. In 2001 he told CNN's Larry King Live that he got called "<a href="http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0102/12/lkl.00.html">n***** every day</a>."
Bet they're regretting this now: MTV UK reports that even <a href="http://www.mtv.co.uk/news/justin-bieber/353124-justin-bieber-bullied-born-to-be-somebody">Justin Bieber</a> was bullied in school. He said, "Most people in their lifetime have been at some point. I think it's about time that people start making a change."
Victoria Beckham credits her thick skin to being<a href="http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/bizarre/2764509/Victoria-Beckham-says-being-bullied-at-school-made-her-stronger.html"> mentally and physically bullied</a> in school. She told The Sun, "The only reason for me bringing that up is I have always been a fighter." Here's betting her bullies never had boyfriends as beautiful as David Beckham.