first impressions.

To begin our latest assignment, we have been asked to consider which of the four topics we would like to answer. These  questions are:

  • Identity: Who is this ‘me’ anyway?
    Explore identity – how we represent ourselves, how our representations of ourselves have changed over time or how marginalised groups have represented themselves to confront mainstream culture.
  • Politics and Power: What’s hiding behind the map?
    How maps construct our understanding of specific places and explain why others might view them quite differently from mainstream culture.
  • Technology: What do visual technologies do?
    How older and newer visual technologies influence the ways we see the world, considering the ways that people use these technologies to intentionally shape our experiences.
  •  Environment: How do we shape the natural world?
    If you choose this question you will be interested in the human impact on the environment and natural world.

To me the fourth question appeals the most. Having grown up heavily influenced by the environment and living in a home surrounded by trees; this topic is one that I can relate to. My initial thought was to look into human impact globally and issues such as deforestation or climate change. Then, after considering some of Mirzoeff’s idea’s and other resources I was given a new impression.

“We have to make climate change less abstract” (Mirzoeff, 213) in the sixth chapter of “How to See the World” Mirzoeff talks about the intellectual difficulty around climate change. One resource title “Stop Motion: Sustainable Transportation” discusses the role of transport and its affect on the earth. To me this made me think of Mirzoeff’s earlier statement as there seems to be easy solutions but we cant seem to accept them and start to make a change. Climate change seems to be this overarching complex riddle that we cant stop but which simple sustainable ideas we can begin to make a change.

Another interesting point I discovered from the material was through a 2012 60Minuets TV interview “Meet the Frackers”. This source told the viewer about oil and gas frackers in Taranaki on the West Coast. Mirzoeff mentioned “However, unless we have a highly trained eye, … these changes are not always easy to see.” (Mirzoeff, 215) This was true in Sarah Robert’s case, as she didn’t discover the Tag Oil fracking (which was next door to her farm) until  a co-worker mentioned ground shaking. There was no knowledge of this in the community or its implications and dangers that could occur as the the earth below them was fractured to draw out any oil. The almost sneaky nature of this company as they took the natural resources from the ground without communicating with the community connects to Mirzoeff’s idea of needing a “highly trained eye”.




Works Cited List –

60 Minutes NZ. “Meet the Frackers – Part 1” TVNZ – 60 Minuets NZ, 18 March 2012,

Tech, Georgia. “Stop Motion: Sustainable Transportation” CEEatGC, 2 April 2014,

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “The Changing World”. How to See the World. UK, Penguin. 2015, 211-253.


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