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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.


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    Nov 29 2012: Logos, icons, pictograms and comics have been around for a long time in history. We used them for identification (coat of arms) and story telling (frescos, murals) throughout centuries. Even computer made their final break through to become 'personal' due to the use of images (icons) instead of using ' 100011 00011 01000 00000 00001 000100'. They even used the term 'icons', which was used for picturized religious memorabilia before.

    So this concept is neither new nor surprising as all humans are native 'visual' beings.

    I understood the story line of a comic before I could read and if I was illiterate I would be able to find the restroom at many places.

    Yet as with all other forms of communication images can manipulate and misdirect the recipient, which was and still is used in commercials, propaganda and all media. On a bad headline in a newspaper, let's say about a politician, the given photo of this person is carefully chosen to transport a 'non spoken' message. In our mainstream media it is less likely to find a photograph of Mahmud Ahmadinedschad with an open and all winning smile, because 'we' don't wan't to 'see' him this way and not because there are no such images available of him.

    Nazi Germany used to picture Jewish citizens in the newspaper with 'hooked noses' and 'greedy looks', to devalue their status as human beings and to generalize 'them'.

    To 'develop the world' by images the same carefulness is mandatory as with all other media as well.
    • Nov 30 2012: Yes i am not talking about bringing across propaganda, or showing biased images of other cultures its nothing to do with other people or starting a war its about images inspiring people to finally become independent and to finally React and do something and to bring that spirit to develop i just want to awaken people's senses and i do know that this idea of images has been around for ages its not like i am saying that i invented it.. i am just saying its new because this idea hasn't been used in places were could be effective.. like in rural villages in Kenya. i am just talking about inspiring people and bringing about growth because countries like Africa finally need to change it seems that it is just not moving forward its upon the people to change it i mean how long will Africa be how it is? i know that Africa does not want to be in the state it is in there is too much pain and poverty and people are unhappy i just wish that this idea of image could show people that there is a way out. i am not even talking about showing the wrong images its just about basic images of inspiration and images that ls how people how they can live a better life and how their ideas could contribute to them finally being independent of Aid and all that...its possible but the people need to wake up and do something too much speech has been used so this approach of images could finally lead to people bringing across their thoughts and ideas it lets the nation build a nation that they are happy to be in and it leads to growth... They show starving children to more developed countries and here the idea of images has lead to people spending huge amounts of money on donations but what about finally showing pictures to the other end of how to grow on their own....
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        Nov 30 2012: I did not mean to reduce your idea, Esther and if I did I apologize.

        But the scope of your idea is pretty vulnerable for propaganda, don't you think? Because to me 'Inspiring people and bringing about growth' is actually to build the foundation of a working economy in this region to 'finally become independent'. This is a great idea, no doubt about that, but how do you inspire as unbiased and neutral as possible, so that the people can find their own way in doing so? Especially given the limitation in only 'visual' communication.

        With your experience, what do you imagine those inspiring pictures could look like?

        Would a picture of a 'western middle class family' showing their average wealth be inspirational or rather disastrous? Personally I think it would be disastrous.

        What if this lack of independence is related to other cultures and nations?

        I would like to understand the type of 'signs' you are thinking of, which could make the change you wish for. How would they look like? What messages would they carry?
        • Nov 30 2012: I know that everything can be turned into a hidden agenda and that everything can be bad if it is not monitored properly i mean when people donate it comes from a good place but when it goes to greedy pockets of corrupt politicians that's when donations turn bad.
          i am not talking about showing a picture of a middle class western world what about simple cartoons for children in comic strips that show the fundamental importance of going to school these comics don't even need color they can be stick people, and images of how cutting down trees leads to there being less trees and maybe showing the importance of trees.. showing methods of how to farm better... how to save money how women are important how too many children is not the right idea if you cant feed yourself.....images of starving children because their parents kept on producing in hope that they will benefit from their children but instead their children are dying infants because they were malnutrition... Images of how their vote matters in changing the nation and that a vote should not be based upon someone who just bought them a loaf of bread for a day before the elections and lets them all starve once elected... all this can be interpreted in countries..yes i know that culture plays a role but the thing is if this was culture is it culture to let children starve? is it culture to be unhappy? lack of independence is because people are not doing anything and allowing themselves to be ignored to be treated like they don't matter to be treated like dummies because the government steals right in front of their faces and the government knows that there is no potential because they have the money i am talking about images that finally lets people know that its time to do something to reach happiness... but i appreciate your opinions a lot thank you i am new to all this...i hope that i am containing myself well...
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        Nov 30 2012: '... allowing themselves to be ignored to be treated like they don't matter to be treated like dummies because the government steals right in front of their faces ...'

        In short, Esther, you are calling for REVOLUTION here!

        So that the people finally quit to be treated like beasts and to break free from an all corrupt, rotten and financially powerful government!

        Don't get me wrong, if this government is as you say, you have my vote!

        Nevertheless, calling for REVOLUTION is pretty manipulative don't you think and if I had to picture this message it would certainly look somewhat like this:


        Besides this rebellious notion I understand now what you have in mind and it could be seen as a forerunner to a more wide spread and fundamental educational system.

        Wouldn't your visual concept work with the 'One Laptop per Child' initiative?



        As the computer is mostly a 'visual' medium it could also animate those 'stick people' for a better transfer of the actual message. Kenya seems to be already part in this:

        • Nov 30 2012: That's amazing but this sort of a thing needs to be set up in more rural areas because that's where most votes come from.. i mean yes the government is amazingly corrupt in Africa its no lie thats one of the main roots why Africa is still were it is today its like they always blame colonization and slavery but in my opinion what the government is doing now is still a form of colonization and slavery.. it is a form of Revolution i guess but the people should educate themselves before they go out and start tackling the real issues of the country...No violence just educated and real change....thank you for the links and thank you for the extra awareness and knowledge....

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