What are some of the current issues confronting our world today? Amongst them what is of interest and cause a concern to you?
- Science and Technology/Social – Genetically Modified Food
There is a low consumer awareness of genetically modified food products. Support for both plant and animal-based GM foods appears to have declined somewhat between 2001 and 2003. Overall, fewer Americans (from a research targeting at the American community) also seem convinced that GM technology will improve the quality of their lives. Hence, with the lack of awareness and knowledge about the advantages of GM food, some of the world problems such as poverty be inevitable.
2. Environment – Climate Change – Melting Glaciers in specific
The exacerbation of Global Warming has led to the melting of Glaciers. They are melting so much that they are changing the shape of the Earth’s crust. This subsequently leads to catastrophes such as rising sea levels and floods especially in poverty-stricken countries. E.g. Southern Louisiana are sinking a meter every century.
3. Social – Child slavery, child soldiers (chosen topic)
One of the issues haunting the world today is child slavery in the form of child soldiers. KONY 2012 allowed the world to bring our attention to the presence of children who are trained militarily from as young as 4-year-old. These children are deprived from education and are affected both physically and emotionally as well.
4. Social – Discrimination against ex-convicts
It is a fact that there is discrimination and prejudicial practices against ex-convicts especially in the workforce. Despite campaigns and movements to solve the disparity, the perceptions of some are still unchanged towards ex-convicts as individuals with questionable character or have unfound fears that they might commit crimes again which cause them to be deprived of opportunities for employment.
Why is the issue important? Who does it affect and how?
Child soldiers are children (individuals under the age of 18) who are used for any military purpose. Some are in their late teens, while others may be as young as four. They are not only boys – many are girls. Some child soldiers are used for fighting – to kill and commit other acts of violence. Others are used as cooks, porters, messengers, informants or spies, or in any other way their commanders want. Child soldiers are also used for sexual purposes.
Children’s development, health and well-being are disrupted when they are drawn into military organisations. Recruited children, particularly those used in armed violence, run a high risk of being killed or maimed, and of suffering serious psychological and social problems afterwards. Military training is designed to break children down psychologically until they obey commands without question, which can alter their personality in the long term. Some children can be tremendously resourceful in finding ways to cope, but they should not have to face risks such as these. Witnessing killing, and especially taking part in it, is particularly harmful to a child, who is still developing psychologically and emotionally. Children associated with military forces also face a higher risk of being sexually abused by adults or other children in their military group. Such traumatic events can disrupt children’s development, staying with them for the rest of their lives. Bullying, physical violence and sexual harassment are common in a military environment.
Who do you need to communicate to, and why?
The presence of child soldiers ought to be known by the general public, especially adults living in developed regions which are not really exposed to such an issue. With the awareness about the children, people can help by doing a few things as simple as fund raising in bringing back the children from the military to the normal lives of being a child and attend school to receive proper education. Also, there are initiatives allowing children living in conflicted areas to participate in workshops or the media to learn about child rights and to stay away from violence.
From communicating with the general public, the idea of shock could be anticipated from people who are oblivious to this issue occurring in the present world. The effect of shock after being educated could be effective in encouraging them to step up and support the movement of educating children.
How has visual communication contributed to address the cause?
This was created by Agnes Natalie in 2013 from AWARE Singapore Campaign for Domestic Violence Against Women and it portrays “how beauty hides painful secrets”. One quality that I appreciate from this advertisement is about how the page is so simple with the accent of the red lips being the focal point and the element of blood which is the main message to be brought about. The words are bold which shows the seriousness of this issue reminds the reader in a stern manner and somewhat alarming. Overall, a straight to the point design.
The artist for this piece is unknown. What struck me is the comparison of a non-living being with a cut out of a forlorn-looking girl at the back to portray the message of child-marriage. I think that this is also very clever in terms of the concept of marriage portrayed by the doll which suggests a bride. Although not as straight-forward, the thinking process would leave viewers with a shock factor which then creates an impression and impact about the issue.
Luba Lukova created this artwork in 2009-2010. Not exactly sure about the issue to be addressed in this piece but it definitely compares how a particular society focuses and lives on war and does not believe in educating its people. It is a clever idea from the artist to focus on icons from a particular subject like a pencil for education and a bomb for war and how the pencil shredding is equivalent to the deteriorating state of the education system in the society which the artist wishes to illustrate on.