Visual Discourses

An explorative mapping journey to share  research, images and conversations.

Targets as we are of the formatted mass media, our purpose is to map forms of visual propaganda, stereotypes uniformity... in order to create self-awareness of the risks and opportunities of visual impacts in urban spaces.

Mapping visual propaganda versus people’s claims

A project on the propaganda that we swallow without awareness, that we inherit without acknowledge.
How far back can we trace the effect of political propaganda, like the lies about the genocide in Rwanda or about the Iraq war? What do we know about how it affected the way we think? And then, how is it happening in the present?
We are contrasting the objects spread over our landscapes, mostly urban, that “broadcast” propaganda visually and that our senses can’t avoid to perceive: the billboards in contrast to the graffitis; the posters against the banners; the signs, placards, and the street art.

Is all visual propaganda explicit, obvious? Can it be asfixiating? How? When? Is their repetitivenes indoctrinating? Many, too many adverts and signs carry political messages under the cover of a new product or a happy smile. Images and messages that are unwanted. Often unnoticed as we get more and more used to this kind of pollution. The “unnoticedness” plays an influencial role. Without being conscious of the message, it somehow affects us. Its meaning penetrates like a flash when we pass by, without time to interpret the incoming visual stimuli. It functions as subliminal messages sneaking political propaganda into our minds.
Who puts what out there?
Wall paintings, graffiti, or banners from the folk compete for the public space in unequal terms. Is that so? Are there places where we are taking over? How and where? Can this other type of propaganda compete equally in the public space? Can the community take over and make the public space theirs? What would be the effect of increasingly planting people’s demands in our cities? Would we get use to it as well? Would this visual impacts also affect our subconscious? And if so, what would be the result for the community?

Open Call

We invite you to share photographs that demonstrate the visual discourses of power versus the discourses of people in your community, context, situation, visual culture. The purpose of this call is to map the visual propaganda and discourses in our polarized and divided societies.

You can participate taking pictures of billboards, posters or any object that reinforces neo-capitalist propaganda with classist, sexist, racist, normative, exclusionary visual messages as well as with pictures of hand made signs and banners that claim for justice or denounce socio-political problems. Objects and surfaces that either broadcast power discourses or civil action.

We want to see them in continuity (in the same context-cities, during the same period in time), to map how poluted is the public space with manipulative or falsely-contextualized visuals, and how is the public space used for the expression of disobedience and social demands. How the two look like? Do we, as citizens, still use the textual medium next to the overload of visual propaganda? Or are people raising with the same tools for counter purposes?

We seek for collaborators in fields like sociology, psychology, neuroscience, art… to work together in this mapping process. We’d love it! if you belong to another field of research.