As part of Communication in Creative Cultures, we have started our final assignment; Te Ao Hurihuri: Changing the world, having a say, making a difference. As part of this assignment, we are to discuss a “big world problem” of our choice and visual activism. To start this task, I thought I would look into Nicholas Mirzoeff’s ideas in his novel “How to See the World”.
In the Afterward of his novel, Mirzoeff stated visual activism as “… collective and collaborative, containing archiving, networking, researching, and mapping among other tools, all in the service of a vision of making change” (Mirzoeff, 297). This concept intrigued me. I knew there was particular art that was used as activism but had never sought after that art in particular. My initial ideas ranged from fast fashion to CO2 emission. I knew I wanted to research an environmental issue but there are so many to pick from that interest me. I originally planned on looking into the global issue of excessive rubbish recently having heard from a peer that Sweden has to import rubbish due to the lack of it in their own country. In 2016, an article was written stating they used the heat of the waste plants, effectively using rubbish “as a substitute for fossil fuel” (Independant.co.uk). If Sweden’s tactics could be manipulated to suit New Zealand, it would significantly reduce our waste levels and improve our countries “clean, green” reputation. While looking on the G+ Community I came across I post by Moana Barnard of environmental visual activism.
This post shocked me. The graphic nature of this display is almost disturbing even though it is the truth. Moana talked about a number of whales washing up dead, their stomachs filled with plastic; causing their deaths. The image is so raw and tragic, it made me reconsider my topic. My last assignment had a connection to the extinction of birds however I don’t think I quite scratched the surface of this issue. I plan on researching wildlife extinction to better grasp this issue and the events that are speeding up the process.
Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “How to See the World”. Pelican Books, 2015
Sheffield, Hazel. “Sweden’s recycling is so revolutionary, the country has run out of rubbish”. Independent UK, Thursday 8th December 2016, http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/sweden-s-recycling-is-so-revolutionary-the-country-has-run-out-of-rubbish-a7462976.html