I am thrilled to be presenting a workshop at the upcoming conference on degrowth in Malmö, Sweden. Provisionally titled ‘Visualising our Values’ the session will explore the role visual imagery plays in creating and reinforcing cultural & economic “norms and explore ideas for how the degrowth movement can utilise it to create emotionally resonant communication around new values.
For degrowth to succeed it must do more than win the intellectual arguments and convince policy makers. While both are important, as many in the movement have already noted we need to find narratives and strategies capable of breaking into broader sections of society and shifting cultural values and norms. We must learn from the mistakes of of climate change communications and decades of social justice campaigning that have fallen short of igniting true cultural shifts.
A key part of shifting cultural values means helping people envision new possibilities. Photography and visual communication are critical components in creating a new social imaginary. They have enormous potential to reopen space for human creativity and reach a broader audience with values of a degrowth economy. Proponents of the current economic order well understand imagery’s power to construct social values, advertising being a prime example. For the degrowth movement a key part of success will be how well we tap into the power of visual communication to create new spaces for human imagination.
For anyone interested in degrowth I strongly encourage you to consider attending the conference. If you know you won’t be able to attend but would be interested in hearing more about my workshop please get in touch.