What does Mirzoeff mean by ‘visual activism’ and ‘visual thinking’?
From reading Chapter 7 and the afterword of Mirzoeff’s book How to See the World, he addresses the ideas about what his interpretations are of visual activism and visual thinking is. Visual activism according to Mirzoeff is the interaction of pixels and actions to make a change (297). Here what he means is that through the use of visual means we are able to portray a personal issue/ connection to an overall wider issue in society, an example could be the artist Zanele Muholi and her connections between gender and social identity (291). Here through out the these two pieces of writing, he has created this idea of visual thinking being how something visual can make you think a certain way about something else, for example Mirzoeff uses the different movements such as the ones Buenos Aires in 2001 and Egypt in 2011 to explain ‘that these movements were the first to use global social media to try and create visual thinking about representation and social change: where do we go from here?’ (259). Therefore he is saying that through these movements, there has been visual thinking as to how the public is represented. I believe that Mirzoeff is also saying that social media and other internet platforms have become a new means of creating awareness of certain social issues and discussions.
Introduction into project direction:
For my project in assessment three, I will be looking into the ways that visual media is manipulated, changed and how it effects social issues. From this one area I will be looking into is the way advertising influences or manipulations the wider audience and I will also be looking at the ways that images are changed visually, physically and digitally.
After assessment two and reading ‘How To See Yourself’ by Mirzoeff, I would also like to look into the ways visual media is used to represent the concerns around gender, sexuality and online identity and how media is stereotyped into certain genders. From being interested in these two topics, I am going to try and intertwine the two and look at the way visual media is used to manipulate/change the views on gender, sexuality and online identity in the 21st century society.
From here I am going to take Mirzoeff’s idea about what it is to be a citizen in the 21st century. I believe that within chapter 7 and the afterword, being a citizen in this global era is all visual. Everything that we see and receive is somewhat visual and that as citizens we need to be able to understand these visual images. Mirzoeff overall proposes that everything that we are concerned with is shown through the means of visual activism and visual thinking and that being able to adapt to this changing media is part of being a citizen in this global era.
(Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Changing the World”. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 255-285. Print)
(Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “Afterword: Visual Activism”. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. 289-298. Print)