Visualising Climate Change

The research project ‘Visualising Climate Change’ is funded through an ESRC Future Research Leader fellowship. The project aims to increase understanding of the representations and power of visual imagery for engaging people with climate change.

Every day, images evoking climate change are created and made meaningful in the public arena. But images are not neutral. Imagery which gains dominance promotes particular ways of knowing about climate change, whilst marginalising others. These insights are important, as particular ways of knowing about climate support (or inhibit) particular science-society-policy interactions. This research critically examines the visual representations of climate change in mass and new media; and explores how the power of visual images can be used to engage people with climate change.

This is an interdisciplinary, internationally-comparative and multi-phase project. Part A is using content and frame analyses to critically analyse a diverse international corpus of visual imagery, from both mass and new media sources. Part B is using photo-elicitation to explore how participant-created images can engage and empower people to imagine different climate futures, in the context of adaptation to sea-level rise.

The project makes links to international research leaders in the social dimensions of climate change, through the project partner at the University of Melbourne and the project collaborators at the University of Colorado-Boulder and American University.

This project is running 2012-2015. Please see my publications for the latest papers arising from this grant.

mage part of photo-elicitation project, by Vernone Amistead

This image was taken by Vernone, one of the photo-elicitation participants, in Part B of the Visualising Climate Change project. She explained how she valued the connection she had to this place, particularly as it related to her generations-long link to the Lakes Entrance fishing industry.