To This Day
|by Shane Koyczan|
|Genre(s)||Spoken word poem|
The animated film for "To This Day" was released onto YouTube on February 19, 2013. The video received 1.4 million hits in the first two days and currently has over 17 million. It features the work of 12 animators, supported by 80 artists. Koyczan first came to international notice when he read his poetry at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics' Opening Ceremony.
The poem describes Koyczan's experience of being abandoned by his parents, to be brought up by his grandmother Loretta Mozart and how he was bullied at school, given the name 'Pork Chop'. He commented:
My hope is [that it] would reach some of the people who were just out there looking for something to get them through another day. When I wrote the poem two years ago and people started coming to me because they just needed to talk after hearing it, I realized this is not a Canadian problem or an American problem, it’s everywhere...I believe the bullies must be forgiven. That’s how we heal.
Koyczan describes how, following torment at school, he became a bully himself around the age of 14, an image of the thing he hated. He says that keeping communication channels open and clear between parents and their children will help address bullying issues. He commented that he hopes the poem and the project will promote a connectivity between those who have suffered from bullying, that they might feel less isolated. The project aims to help schools engage better with bullying and child suicide.
Reception for the poem has been overwhelmingly positive, receiving coverage on CBS and CBC News. Koyczan was chosen to read the poem and show to film at the TED conference, California, in 2013, accompanied by violinist Hannah Epperson. After the video's release Koyczan received hundreds of letters from people that have experienced bullying.
The poem is part of the To This Day project and was released to mark Pink Shirt Day, an anti-bullying initiative. The project aims to highlight the deep and long-term impact of bullying on the individual and help schools engage better with bullying and child suicide.
- David Silverberg (2i February 2013). "Shane Koyczan's anti-bullying poem-video To This Day goes viral". Digital Journal. Retrieved 17 March 2013. Check date values in:
- Shane Koyczan (19 February 2013). "To This Day Project - Shane Koyczan". YouTube. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Matt Galloway (22 February 2013). "Anti-Bullying Poem". CBC News. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Dominique Mosbergen (25 February 2013). "Shane Koyczan's 'To This Day', Anti Bullying Poem, Goes Viral". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Natalie Sequeira (22 February 2013). "Shane Koyczan's anti-bullying poem goes viral". Quill & Quire. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- David Haglund (22 February 2013). "Watch a Powerful Short Film About Bullying". Slate Magazine. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "B.C. poet Shane Koyczan wins hearts of TED crowd with anti-bullying stories (with video)". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Laura Grace Weldon (21 February 2013). "To This Day Anti-Bullying Project". CS Monitor magazine. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Shira Lazar (22 February 2013). "To This Day Project". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- George Stroumboulopoulos (22 February 2013). "Watch This: A Powerful Poem And Animated Video About Bullying By Canadian Poet Shane Koyczan". CBC News. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Casey Glynn (20 February 2013). "Powerful animated version of a poem about bullying". CBS News. Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- Helen Walters (28 February 2013). "Live a life to do with beauty: Shane Koyczan at TED2013". Retrieved 17 March 2013.
- bbamsey (22 February 2013). "Bullied poet's slamming video goes viral". HLNtv.com. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- Lisa Suhay (21 February 2013). "To this day: Poet talks about his viral animated anti-bullying video". CS Monitor. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Shane Koyczan (19 February 2013). "Shane Koyczan's To This Day Video Project – An expression of solidarity and compassion against bullying". Pink Shirt Day. Retrieved 15 March 2013.