Semiotics of Humanitarian Photography

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Publication 1-year master student thesis
Title Semiotics of Humanitarian Photography
Author(s) Paglamidis, Konstantinos
Date 2013
English abstract
Communication campaigns by major organizations in the field of development have been heavily dependent on humanitarian photography to motivate and attract donors. This genre of photography serves its purpose by informing, surprising and attracting the attention of a broad audience. It captures real life and real problems people in need have to deal with in remote areas of the world. This paper delves into the use of visual semiotics in the context of humanitarian photography and for the purpose of fund-raising by case study research of recent communication campaigns as implemented by major players in the field such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Global Fund to Fights AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Doctors without Border, CARE and Save the Children. The purpose is to identify key issues which allow for the elicitation of a sign framework specific to the fund-raising genre and its idiosyncratic use of visual signs in photography based on a broad theoretical basis of semiotics. The analysis focuses on the content and methods of signification of photography in each case study. The effectiveness of humanitarian photography and important aspects of its function is discussed in the scope of its use as a communication medium for development.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Kultur och samhälle
Pages 33
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) humanitarian photography
semiotics
fund raising
sign
representamen
interpretant
signifier
signified
visual sign
visual paradigm
anchoring
relay
zero sign
index
symbol
icon
war photography
mythology
visual rhetoric
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/15996 (link to this page)

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