Visual studies method


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I gave this presentation as part of a PechuKucha-style colloquy held with colleagues at the Australian Digital Futures Institute on Wed 17th July, 2013. I aimed to give a few hints as to why I began using visual studies method, and some approaches. There is no voice over, so I have added some explanatory thought bubbles.

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Visual studies method

  1. 1. Critical seeing
  2. 2. Contradictions: 45,000 more women killed than men in Boxing Day tsunami, 2004 I first became interested In visual studies when I encountered contradictions between images of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 and women’s lived experiences.
  3. 3. Contradictions: Women aren’t strong enough to be fire fighters I also encountered contradictions between the hard physical labour of women in the majority world and negative attitudes towards the capabilities of female firefighters
  4. 4. We make the road by walking We Make the Road by Walking: Conversations on Education and Social Change by Myles Horton, Paulo Freire 1990 This presentation reflects a conceptual space that photographs construct meaning, through representation; rather than capture “reality”.
  5. 5. And by seeing Photographs provide an opportunity to explore what is shown , how and by whom? What is absent and why?
  6. 6. Through photo essays The following slides provide an overview of different approaches to visual studies:
  7. 7. Through creative collection and curation
  8. 8. Through postcards of meaning
  9. 9. Through visual artefacts Visual artefacts such as this enable a researcher to explore representations of gender, race and sexuality in virtual spaces used to educate others
  10. 10. Through visual images Curating and analysing Google images provides insight into how lived experience (in this case female firefighters) are represented at a moment in time
  11. 11. Through photo-elicitation in its many forms
  12. 12. Through personalized & cultural maps An alternative to the linear verbal interview – create maps, drawings, doodles, sand lines, real mud maps….
  13. 13. Through data visualisation Data visualisation has become very popular, but they are themselves representations of data – that is itself often “objective” and representational.. They are worthy of critical analysis, as well as use.
  14. 14. Through critical content analysis Visual data provides a mechanism for critical analysis – but this analysis also needs to be applied to images in order to interrogate representation . What is seen and not seen, and by whom, shapes our way of seeing and making ‘the road”
  15. 15. Through collaborative mapping… “Seeing” visually can be a process of crowd sourcing and collaboration
  16. 16. And collaborative timelines
  17. 17. And new media storytelling
  18. 18. Visual studies provides one way of encountering and interrogating beyond words by exploring the contradictions that can exist between words and images. Analysis of visual representations can be used as a basis for problem solving, by expanding the social imagination.
  19. 19. To imagine a