The Impact of Images

The impact of visual stimulus surrounds us everywhere we go, from the advertisements we see when we walk down the street to the targeted pop-up’s on our social media newsfeeds. Merely walking across a university campus or a bustling city square exposes us to a kaleidoscope of different people. The culture, clothing or behaviour of social groups help us determine what type of character they may be and where one’s self may fit into the equation. Mirzoeff states, “today we can actively use visual culture to create new self images, new ways to see and be seen, and new ways to see the world. That is visual activism” (mirzoeff 297). He then goes onto explain “they do not represent us” (mirzoeff 291) however they are greatly influential as we make subconcious decisions daily based around what we see constantly. For example, society pushes certain stereotypes which we actively follow to come across as a certain type of person – a musician or an artist often dresses in such a way to express creative freedom, thus supporting what they believe and share in their art. These deliberate visual choices prompt aspiring musicians and artists to express themselves in a similar fashion and start a revolution and support network fuelled with like-minded individuals. Political and social activism is hugely driven by this type of visual influence, as Mirzoeff points out, “visual culture is a way to create forms of change”( Mirzoeff 289) which can inspire others to find an eye catching platform to use as an engine for social change. I am hoping to veer away from things that have typically been done in the past such as posters as they can come across as propaganda and protests because these can send a mixed message and open debate. I would like to display something punchy and visual which makes people stop, look and pay attention such as a Banksy piece.

Works cited
Mirzoeff Nicholas, HOW TO SEE THE WORLD, penguin, 2015


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