Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Iconic Image on Social Media: A Rapid Research Response to the Death of Aylan Kurdi

Dr Farida Vis, Director, Visual Social Media Lab and Research Fellow at the Information School is working on a rapid research response focused on the images of three-year old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi after his body was found on Bodrum beach in Turkey, 2 September 2015.
The report, which will be launched on the 11th of November, involves 15 short contributions from leading researchers and practitioners. The report examines the iconic photographs, taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir to draw further attention to the Syrian refugee crisis. It examines four main areas:
1.     How social media responded to the image and the ways in which it spread from mainstream media to social media platforms.2.     The impact of the image in terms of political and personal responses and short and longer-term political effects.
3.     The impact of the image on social media from a historical perspective considering the iconography of suffering and press photography. 
4.     Whether the image should or shouldn’t be shown, from a human rights, journalistic and ethical perspective.
An extended summary, ahead of the forthcoming report, can be found here. The work is supported through funding from the ESRC as part of the Picturing the Social project.

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