TED Conversations

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

We can develop the world through images.

In his talk, Jonathan Klein spoke about images leading to people to act and react. I think that in rural third world countries images could lead to knowledge and development.

I am a first year economics student in Berlin, and in our marketing class we learned that images are always received and processed faster then text. I lived in Kenya for 11 years and I realized that images could literally make people change; in western countries they show images of starving poverty stricken African children and this leads to people donating... but what about showing images to people in Africa about knowledge, or about how to conserve and be environmentally friendly? Or how to build things, how to survive?

I myself am not a photographer but this idea has struck me and I just can't stop thinking about it. With diseases such as AIDS in rural areas, people still aren't well informed. I think that images could solve that faster than long talks with big words that some people don't even understand. I am not just talking about Africa; I think in general images could change the way people live.

+3
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 28 2012: Thank you for the comments, i know that this idea will require a lot of redrafting and working on but i just think that it could work.I mean as Fritzie said there are certain signs that we directly recognize, like traffic light colors.
    I know that there are different cultural beliefs and literacy levels but that's the good part about images they aren't that hard to understand i mean i am thinking for example if i were to show a rural place the actual impact of AIDS wouldn't they just interpret how serious the illness really is?
    then there is children i think that images could give children inspiration as they start to interpret things and it will lead to them asking questions, REACTING.
    Jacqui thank you for that comment, yes i know that words are also a form of art but i am just thinking that there needs to be another approach to transferring knowledge to certain places. i mean i want to get the people to be curious to get the people to start asking questions to start doing to start having ideas and i think that images could really do that. And it would be a new approach. once this inspiration to know, or to interpret has been sparked in people's minds is when we can turn to speech and hear the opinions and broaden people's interpretation. i just want people in third world countries especially in rural areas to finally have some sort of awareness.
    For example there has always been droughts in certain areas in Kenya and the population in those areas was relative small due to this, but then there was food donations and suddenly the population in those areas grew massively but the droughts did not stop and now what do we have? starving infants and children.. that's not right..i mean even lions don't produce if they don't have access to water..these people need to be shown that this is not right they need to be shown that they cant just live off donations they need to develop and adjust and learn to live in their environment.i think images could initiate development
    • thumb
      Nov 28 2012: The idea of depicting information visually is a popular thing rather than a new thing.

      Here are two things to look up. On TED as part of the TEDxChange event this year, a designer from IDEO spoke about how they assist populations in the area of health. One idea he shows is that we assume more commonality in the interpretation of graphic images than there is.
      They use images, of course, and manipulatives but also listen more than talk and show.
      Another is the word "infographics," which has been a big area of focus over the last few years, because of the effectiveness of conveying information via images.

      In the particular case you mention of the seriousness of AIDS, I doubt that a visual image you show people would have more impact in conveying the seriousness of the disease than they experience in the form of the pain of all the deaths around them where AIDS is common, orphans being brought by grandmothers and older children and so forth. We see these photographs and accounts and from those visualize the problem. It is still different from living in the village where the photos were taken.
      • Nov 28 2012: yes i agree that there are a lot of orphaned children who do not have any parents and end up on the streets many of them don't even know why their parents or of what they died from.. so they themselves infected go on to spread the disease to others and that's how we get generations of families with Aids. i have witnessed this sort of a thing first hand, there isn't even enough information Aids surprisingly is still a very hushed up thing in particular in Africa were and i am appalled to repeat this but Men have sayings such as "how can you enjoy a banana with the peel on"... and women fall for this..i know its horrible but its true... so yes there are people who live with the tragedy of Aids but we see their tragedy on TV and their suffering but the majority live with Aids around and have no idea its there and go on spreading it more when some people are dying of Aids sometimes the children are told that they had cancer or something.. they Don't mention Aids, too much is hushed under the rug for the majority.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.