[237120, A2] Wk 4: Task 3A – Written Response Blog Post

  1. I believe Mirzoeff is challenging the reader to consider maps and visual representations of land as being the product of power struggle. His discussion covers a brief history of how technology has developed to create visual texts in the context of war. We are led to see that while technology has been radically improved, times have changed and new conflicts have arisen, while the goal has remained the same: To gain advantage over opposition in order to seize or maintain power, by better understanding our environment through visual texts.
  2. It is important to consider this to understand what role visual texts hold in the context of conflict. It helps us better understand what aids and hinders development within nations when there is a disparity of who has access to this information.
    Further research into this allows for insight into how the rapidly changing nature of mass media impacts international relations and global politics. As artists and designers, this has further repercussions into what our roles as individuals are in the spread of communications through visual media at a larger scale.
  3. My visual text of choice is the installation entitled Scramble for Africa (2003) by Yinka Shonibare MBE.
    Scramble for Africa (2003)- Yinka Shonibare

    Installation: Scramble for Africa (2003) by Yinka Shonibare MBE

    I feel it exemplifies how a map created over a century ago still holds relevance in today’s discussions about politics, culture, and social dynamics. The Berlin West Africa Conference of 1884 divided Africa into colonies for the major European powers at the time. The work revisits not only the injustice on the part of the Europeans, but the inaction of the African heads of state in contending their rights to the land (Mirzoeff 107-108). Colonisation has inhibited African development, and the artwork displays the relevance of this to the modern audience.

Works Cited:

  • Mirzoeff, Nicholas. “The World of War.” How to See the World. United Kingdom: Penguin Random House, 2015. 101-127. Print.
  • Shonibare, Yinka. Scramble for Africa. The Pinell Collection, Dallas, Texas. Installation.