Assignment 3: Gathering Data: Lines of Power

Assignment Three presents the results of my data-gathering and my developing visual work, clearly showing the relationship between these and my research question.

I started Assignment 3 by reviewing and updating the previous Assignments in the light of feedback from my tutor, new work opportunities and software updates. I put the previous work into two columns so that it would be easier to keep track of changes on the blog – and revert to earlier ideas if needed.

A key task was to really narrow down and focus the question into something manageable.

  • how creative application of visual dynamics of line, shape, colour and placement can help explore, clarify and articulate different possible ‘translations’ rather than imposing one particular view.
  • how creative application of narrative principles can help combine these drawings into sequential narratives like 1 page comics and 60-second animations and interactive info-graphics.
  • how the creative process itself can be empowering in terms of self-reflection for participants themselves and promoting inclusion, communication and respect between people from very different backgrounds – the poorest in communities who have had no formal education to leaders in powerful institutions. And the participatory visual communication principles and techniques that could be employed.

How can complex development concepts like empowerment, gender justice and leadership be communicated visually, without text, through simple use of line and shape?

What does empowerment look like? how can the principles of visual dynamics and narrative design improve ‘translations’ of community voices into persuasive wordfree visuals for advocacy?

  • How can tensions between ‘abusive fidelity’ and ‘professionalised distortion’ be addressed in different digitisation processes ?
  • How do the different media available for participatory workshops affect the types of meanings communicated and how they can be digitised? drawing media: pens/pencils, markers and paper in different colours etc, photography, collage?
  • Which wordless narrative design principles and techniques used by illustrators and animators can enhance visual communication for advocacy in a way that maintains community meanings and styles?
  • When is clarity empowering? When is flexibility/ambiguity better in ‘freeing, transforming and multiplying’? Is text necessary? If so for what, when and how?
  • Are ‘global translations’ possible? Or is there a need for a series of contextualised tailored translations for different audiences and cultures?

LINES OF POWER: KEY QUESTION

How can creative application of visual dynamics of line, shape and colour lead to different possible ‘creative translations’ based on community visuals of empowerment, gender and leadership to increase their clarity and impact for advocacy without using text?

Core Question:
How can community visions and strategies for empowerment be ethically ‘translated’ into powerful visual communication for advocacy in a way that ‘frees, transforms and multiplies rather than possesses, controls and defines’?

In particular:
– can this be done graphically without text through using simple lines and shapes?
– can textless narrative sequences as short comic strips or simple animation overcome some of the communicative limitations of single images
– can this be done using media accessible to most people working in communities?

Is it possible to create resources on concepts of leadership without using text? If so, what visual and narrative strategies can be used? What are potential limitations?

My initial reworking from Assignment 2 integrated

It focuses on ways in which cross-cultural understanding of textless pictorial images can be increased by paying closer attention to what is drawn, use of line and shape to reinforce meaning. It also considers the use of humour versus ‘shock’ tactics, and relative examples and challenges of single image graphics compared to narrative juxtaposition as cartoons or animations.

Core Question:
How can community visions and strategies for empowerment be ethically ‘translated’ into powerful visual communication for advocacy in a way that ‘frees, transforms and multiplies rather than possesses, controls and defines’?

In particular:
– can this be done graphically without text through using simple lines and shapes?
– can textless narrative sequences as short comic strips or simple animation overcome some of the communicative limitations of single images
– can this be done using media accessible to most people working in communities?

On the one hand opportunities consolidated around a work contract with Oxfam Novib on leadership for advocacyy against child marriage. On the other hand the increased workload and need to manage RSI led to a refocusing on physical drawing rather than digital work.

I completely redesigned this blog to take advantage of the new 2020 WordPress theme, and to clearly separate my OCA Assignment discussions from the public content in the blog that I am designing as the outcome of my work for this Module.

1 Data Gathering

Research documentation is an integral part of the project. A designed and edited visual summary recording all research processes, critically analysing their methodologies, and seeking to locate the work in its cultural context will form the major part of the project. In some cases the process of investigating will be the project and in others the research and testing of ideas will lead to a definitive outcome or artefact.
(Noble and Bestley, 2011:213)

TASK: Design a PDF or similar document of 1,200 – 1,500 words that gives a focused account of:
• summarises your data-gathering, the methods you used and its relevance to your research question
• presents the data you gathered
• documents your analysis and interpretation of your data
• reflects on the results in relation to your ongoing research and research question – are you going to change or modify your approach?

This document can bring together secondary sources through bibliographies, highlight key pieces of data you think are relevant, include additional diagrams that help make conceptual connections, and be a visual piece of work in its own right.

My portfolio

TASK: Bring evidence of all the visual work you’ve done so far together in one document. This should include a summary of what your visual work is trying to do with an explanation of how it links to your data collection and your research question. If you’ve modified your research question in the light of your data collection, clearly state your revised research question and explain why you decided to change it.

Note: Aim to produce a substantial amount of visual exploration and developments. Don’t leap to final conclusions yet: you are still at a divergent stage of the design process, although some convergent elements might start to creep in. This is still a stage of visual risk-taking and trying lots of different options. Don’t spend ages on final pieces – work on a range of options that are still mock-ups.

Reflection

Notes on how I think my your work meets the assessment criteria:

Reworking from feedback (to be done)

Following feedback from my tutor, I may wish to rework some of my assignment, reflecting on what I’ve done and why.