Imagining Futures through the Visual

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:15-15:45
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
WG03 Visual Sociology (host committee)
RC07 Futures Research

Language: English

This session invites papers on research and case studies that consider how futures are being presented, mediated, performed, designed, narrated or imagined through a range of visual practices. Emphasizing the importance of visibility and communication, the session will consider:

  • How sociology and visual studies combined can be used to conceptualize current relations between vision and visuality.
  • The representation of varying social spheres, communities, environments, social movements, state and non-state actors on and offline.

As such, this session welcomes research that investigates what Schulz (2015) refers to as “future moves” within the discipline, as well as future visions in addition to research dealing with the assembly of visual material that point to an understanding or re-reading of our potential futures. Examples may include:

  • The analysis of ecological or activist photographs that delineate a future disaster as a possible outcome of the present (Harimen, 2014).
  • The accumulation and analysis of contemporary activist material found on multiple platforms, that when brought together, create a “visual coherence” evoking a trail, and thus an idea of an injustice, which is yet to be recognized (Azoulay, 2011).

Papers are also welcomed on a range of topics that address motives and practices for future change or future action, supported by visual content. These can include (but are not limited to): 

  • The networked circulation of individual and group self-portraits with banners and signs that promote call for changes in policy, political visibility and/or social equality.
  • What methodological tools are best applied when examining futures through a socio-visual lens.
Session Organizer:
Gary BRATCHFORD, Manchester Institute for Research and Innovation in Art and Design, United Kingdom
Emanuela C. DEL RE, UNiv. Unicusano Roma, Italy
Gary BRATCHFORD, The University of Central Lancashire, United Kingdom
Using Arts Practice to Research Young People's Orientations to the Future
Dawn LYON, School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research, University of Kent, United Kingdom; Peter HATTON, School of Music and Fine Art, University of Kent, United Kingdom
Alegria for a Future Life - Photointerviews with the Women of Huizachera, Mexico
Heidi DUMREICHER, OIKODROM - The Vienna Institute for Urban Sustainability, Austria; Bettina KOLB, Department of Sociology - University of Vienna, Austria
See more of: WG03 Visual Sociology
See more of: RC07 Futures Research
See more of: Working Groups