*Please read this blog post alongside “What Love and Sadness Look Like in 5 Countries, According to their Top GIFs

“As we survey GIF usage around the world, what pops out is how people from different countries draw on a globalized media ecoysytem to express themselves online”—this is one of many statements in “What Love and Sadness Look Like in 5 Countries, According to Their Top GIFs” by Amanda Hess and Quoctrung, which encompasses how GIF culture is shaped by global media flows. Among the popular GIFs identified in Brazil, India, Italy, Mexico, and US are many visuals that stem from US media and popular culture. This is illustrative of the dominant influence of US media within global(ized) media ecologies.

In recent months, and shaped by the global impact of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the significance of local and hyperlocal media has been particularly evident. I discuss this in a bit more detail in conversations with international colleagues during a recent Aca-Media podcast recording on “talking television in a pandemic” which focused on issues related to “global geographies”.

Local/regional formations and experiences of community have been and continue to be central to the everyday lives of many people. Even though the inherently global nature of meme and GIF culture remains, I’ve noticed more (or, perhaps just become more aware of) visuals that depict, construct, and communicate events, information, and experiences at a local level (e.g. visuals connected to community collective organising and lockdown situations in different geo-cultural settings).

·       Are there visuals that are specific to your local and immediate surroundings which mean something to you or make you feel a particular way?

·       In what ways can critical visual dialogues contribute to local forms of community-building and communication?

·       Would you class street art as a form of visual communication that can play a part in, or constitute, a critical visual dialogue?

·       How do local and global issues coincide in the content of critical visual dialogues (including as part of this course)?

Here are some visuals from my local area. How do they compare or contrast with ones near you?

In response to this blog post and The New York Times/The Upshot piece that it relates to, please create and share one (or more if you’d like 😊) of the following in our discussion area:

1)     A collage

2)     A meme or GIF

3)     A sentence of emojis

4)     A photograph

5)     A drawing or painting

River scene in Cardiff
"Liverpool Football Club Champions of the World" Signs in Cardiff
"No Justice, No Peace" Street Art in Cardiff
"Community is Kindness" Signs in Cardiff
Daisies in Cardiff
"We Stand Together." in Cardiff
"Black Lives Matter" Street Art in Cardiff
"Diolch yn fawr NHS - Thank you very much NHS" in Cardiff