Importance of visual framing strategies in times of war and conflict

By Jitin Chadha

Most of the information we send and receive these days is visual in nature. Needless to say, visuals have a lasting impact on how we not only perceive the world around us, but how we form narratives as individuals and, subsequently, as a larger society. large. These narratives then affect the psyche of the populus, the structure and ethos of a socio-cultural milieu and ultimately play an important role in the very course of history. In recent times, we have seen riots, violent episodes and wars break out across the world. While unfortunate, it also simultaneously shed light on the ways in which visual frame-building tools are used and manipulated during such moments of conflict and struggle. The consequences and impact of these tools, as a result, have become more evident than we may have previously understood. As the famous saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. This phrase is more valid today than ever as we see such strategies being incorporated by different countries, political parties and social groups around us.

Creating frames often involves using vivid images as captivating hooks to draw the audience in and hold their attention. These visuals work almost like propaganda tactics influencing not only how we understand situations and events, but also dictating how we react to those events around us. Given this, it’s fair to say that building a visual framework has tremendous reach and impact. It has its own set of pros and cons. While at one level it can be used to deliver vital messages and build support for good causes, at another it is equally important to understand the danger of such a powerful tool that can sway the minds of masses. These visual frame-building strategies are often used by both sides in conflict in moments of conflict in order to spin the stories in their favor. In light of this, it is essential to consume all visuals we encounter with some detachment and awareness, to check our sources, and to actively listen to both sides of any story before arriving at final conclusions and opinions. .

Understanding the importance of constructing a visual framework, learning the necessary skills and tools, and knowing how to implement those skills effectively is imperative for budding designers who will, at some point, need to explore ways to create patterns, structures and rhythms, etc. important to devise solutions for the times to come. It is also crucial that future designers are equipped with adequate knowledge to understand how such strategies work and be able to deconstruct them to arrive at objective conclusions. This will usher in a new era of designers and individuals who are not only prepared to meet the challenges that may arise, but who are also ethical, aware and take a logical, rational and balanced view when it comes to assessing political conflicts and social. .

Communication design is one of the fastest growing design disciplines today. Every aspect of our life involves communication in one form or another. A key facet of communication design is building a visual framework. As we work towards a more harmonious and peaceful society, perhaps the first step is to understand where the conflicts come from and the tools that are used to fuel and aggravate these moments of violence. It is crucial to provide students with a holistic, convenient and practical teaching and learning environment. This provides them with a solid foundation from which to develop and practice these skills and become not only competent and competent designers, but also compassionate and well-rounded individuals who strive to make the world a better place for all – one step, one visual, one story to a time.

The author is the director of the Indian Institute of Art and Design (IIAD).

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