TAKING A STEP OUTSIDE THE PHOTO AND FRAME: HOW SHOULD DRAWINGS BE ANALYSED IN THE CONTEXT OF GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION?

Markus Hilander
2015 New Semiotics. Between Tradition and Innovation   unpublished
The combination of geography and semiotics seems to be rather rare. Nonetheless, geography as a discipline has always been visually oriented because of the usage of maps. However, geographers tend to be interested in the final meanings of visual representations rather than the processes during which the meanings are being pro duced. To approach these processes, we printed a photo taken in New York City (2008) on an A3-sheet and asked in total 64 Finnish high school students to draw around the
more » ... o draw around the photo. Next step of our study is deciding in which ways we are to analyze the drawings in question; during our presentation, we hope to gain new ideas from the audience to approach our data-set. In the 1970s, Roland Barthes stated that connotations are likely to be important in semiology. He continued that connotative phenomena have not yet been systematically studied. In addition, a Finnish researcher, Virpi Blom, has said that the analysis of connotation is in the heart of interpretation. When it comes to the drawings we have collected, we can, for example, focus on what sorts of connotations the students have drawn. In her book, Decoding Advertisements, Judith Williamson approaches advertisements both as signifieds and signifiers. The same division can be used for drawings as follows: when the photograph itself is the signifier, the drawing is dominated by the photo; instead, when the drawing is the signifier, the drawer abandons the ready-made signi fied (the photo), and a semiotic act will take place. The former example is to do with synecdochal signs, the latter with metonymic signs. When it comes to visual literacy and semiotics, iconicity, indexicality, and meto nymic signs are said to be the most important aspects we should concentrate on. It was Barthes who said that there is an abundant literature
doi:10.24308/iass-2014-048 fatcat:4x7zkbbg7nctzegx6d54yytblq