The social life of images

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper presents a theoretical and methodological
approach to analysing images in public space as part of
a transformative visual dialogue in everyday life. Images
are conceptualised through the lens of sociocultural
psychology and analytically approached through the
metaphor of ‘the social life of images,’ by which the life cycle
of images is followed as they respond and borrow from one
another in a continuous dialogue. The analytical
framework starts by situating the image and identifying its
spatial and temporal contexts. Then, it considers the social
actors influencing the image’s social life and the different
stages in an image’s trajectory. Leading to an analysis of the
political dynamics of an image and its potential symbolic
power to influence the public discourse. Examples from
street art, online, and news images will be used to illustrate
the analytical approach.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVisual Studies
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2020

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