[237130, A3] Wk 9: Publishable Blog Post

Mirzoeff proposes that it is the responsibility of the modern global citizen to foster an awareness of the presence of visual culture, and its influence in our perception of our surroundings. The global era we live in is one where visual media plays a massive role in daily life, due to the emergence of the internet and its potential for sharing of ideas through media. Mirzoeff proposes that citizenship in the global era includes the responsibility to utilise the potential for media sharing to promote positive change to global injustices.

As such, I aim to create a project which challenges an injustice which I feel strongly about: The perpetuation of stigmas against sufferers of mental illness through the entertainment industry.

The entertainment industry – including television, film, music, video games, etc. – are not designed to present an accurate portrayal of people’s lives. The aim is to entertain, and as such, characters and stories are sensationalised. However, this results in the construction of damaging stereotypes, as the audience is led to believe that these exaggerated characters accurately represent sufferers of mental illness.

My project would challenge the misconceptions perpetuated by the entertainment industry’s depiction of mental illness sufferers:


Fig. 1: Poster from the classic horror film, ‘The Shining’. Main character becomes psychotic as a result of isolation, and attempts to murder his family with an axe. Note the caption, “The tide of terror that swept America is HERE”. 

That people affected by mental illness are violent, and dangerous to the people around them.

hearing voices can be murder

Fig. 2: Poster from the film ‘The Voices’. Main character suffers from schizophrenia/psychotic symptoms, including hearing voices which tell him to commit violent acts against women. Note the caption, “Hearing voices can be murder”.

That illnesses such as schizophrenia and psychosis make sufferers unfit to integrate into society.


Fig. 3: Poster from the musical ‘God Help the Girl’. Main character suffers from anorexia, and is endeared to the audience through her illness. 

That the mentally ill are damaged, and are endearing as a result of fitting into the trope of the tortured artist.

I aim to challenge these misconceptions, and fulfil my duty as a citizen in the global era.

Works Cited:

  • God Help the Girl . Dir. Stuart Murdoch. Perf. Emily Browning. 2014. Film.
  • Mirzoeff, Nicholas. How to See the World: A Pelican Introduction. London: Pelican Books, 2015.
  • The Shining. Dir. Stanley Kubrick. Perf. Jack Nicholson. 1980. Film.
  • The Voices. Dir. Marjane Satrapi. Perf. Ryan Reynolds. 2015. Film .