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"Seeing is believing": A visual communication approach to Climate Change, through the Extreme Ice Survey
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Communication plays a fundamental role in shaping our understanding of complex issues such as climate change. Too often scientists and journalists complain that the public does not fully comprehend climate change as they cannot see it. Adhering to calls for a need to propel away from media representations of climate change to a focus on more case-specific research, this Master Thesis analyses the aspect of visualisation within climate change communication with a focus on a contemporary example, the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), as a case-specific study. EIS give a visual voice to our planets changing eco-systems, where an emphasis is placed on visually documenting the adverse effects climate change has on the planets glaciers, through conventional photography and time-lapse photography.

Adhering to the need for further studies of visual representations towards the environment this thesis deploys an image analysis to investigate how meaning is framed through the EIS’s photographs and time-lapse videos. A collective reading between the photographs and their accompanying written captions highlighted contradictive frames of beauty and uncertainty. Additionally, as climate change is predominately seen as an abstract entity, a metaphor analysis was also applied to open further frames of thought into more comprehensible understandings. Integrating both still images and moving images into the study provided different results. Time-lapse videos were analysed to open up new developments of seeing and to extract potential frames of unfolding narratives, perspective and time.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 77 p.
Keyword [en]
climate change, Extreme Ice Survey, visualisation, visual communication, framing, time-lapse photography, image analysis, metaphors, metaphor analysis, glaciers, ice, global warming
National Category
Media and Communications
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-29931OAI: diva2:924796
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2016-04-29 Created: 2016-04-29 Last updated: 2016-04-29Bibliographically approved

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