Assessment 3: Week 10. Post 2. 22/05

After further brainstorming and research I want my project to focus on ‘dirty dairy’ in Canterbury. This topic interests me because I was born and raised in Christchurch and like many in New Zealand have been raised to have pride in our ‘clean green’ image, but as I became more aware of water quality through the media, and through teaching in school it became more apparent that we are having a detrimental affect on our waterways through specifically dairy farming. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research states, “Pastoral farming—which accounts for 40 percent of New Zealand’s land area—is undoubtedly the main source of diffuse pollution…. Streams in dairy land are among the most polluted” (SAFE). 9 waterways in Canterbury are considered ‘very poor’ quality and sources such as the Environment Canterbury technical report suggest that one of the main courses of this is increased dairy farming on the Canterbury Plains.

I intend focus my visual activism project around’dirty dairy’ and highlight its affects to the general public.

A project that used visual activism in a similar way I want to is”Fossilized in Houston.” Artists were commissioned to create visual depictions of endangered species to put on protesters’ signs as part of a gorilla street art movement in the United States. The organizers of this campaign outline the positives of this kind of campaign, “repeated reminders that our images provide, especially when people are exposed to this issue when they least expect it, will contribute to the necessary shift in consciousness. (Bilodeau)” I like this idea of engaging with the public through painting, but I want to communicate my ideas in a less invasive way to ‘gorilla posters’ as this could have the potential to insight dislike of the ideas popping up in people’s lawns. Another way to get people to view dairy farming in a different light could be through a gallery painting, or outside exhibition near the site of a waterway, ie the Avon.

Bilodeau, Chantal. Pursuing active hope in Houston. Artists And Climate Change, 12 May 2015. Web. 6 June 2016.



Works Cited:

Bilodeau, Chantal. Pursuing active hope in Houston. Artists And Climate Change, 12 May 2015. Web. 6 June 2016.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. Print.

SAFE. “Dirty Dairy.” SAFE for animals. n.d. Web. 6 June 2016.


Assessment 3: Week 9. Blog post 1. 18/05

Through assessment 2 I focused on Mirzoeff’s discussion of western culture’s “conquest of nature” in chapter 6 of is book, looking at ways in which developed nations have controlled water and what consequence this had on the environment. In assessment 3 I intend to focus this even further by looking at specifically New Zealand’s control of water. New Zealand is an agricultural economy with an increasing reliance on water to keep up with our rising dairy industry (statsNZ).

dairy NZ stats

In chapters 7 and 8 of “How to see the World” Mirzoeff goes on to discuss the ideas of ‘visual activism’ and ‘visual thinking’. The world is rapidly changing around us and as global citizens it is our obligation to the world to be a part of this change and act show our citizenship in the global/local community. As the globalization continues we become more connected to information in all areas of the world we have more information on how to shape the world we live in. Visual culture can be manipulated by people as a form of activism as a way to shape changing trends in the world, “Today we can actively use visual culture to create new self-images, new ways to been seen and new ways to see the world. That is visual activism” (Mirzoeff 297).

I intend use visual activism to criticize the New Zealand dairy industry’s affect on water quality and availability through a visual text that will serve as ‘visual activism’ in the hope of creating a new way to see our abuse of water.  I aim to explore New Zealand ideology and the lens through which we accept the misuse of this natural resource, exploring dominant perspectives on water.


Works Cited

“Agricultural Production Statistics: June 2011 (provisional).” Agricultural Production Statistics: June 2011 (provisional). StatsNZ, 16 Dec. 2011. Web. 17 May 2016.

Mirzoeff, Nicholas. How to See the World. London: Pelican, 2015. Print.


237.130_A2_Wk8_ Task #1_Tool Kit_7/May/2016.

Planning and Preparation

  • Useful learning about the different styles of essay writing in the first week,  I wanted to move to more of a planning style to have my essay planned before starting.
  • How to unpack the question and reword it to understand it better.
  • That mindmaps are good to have a better understanding of the topic and sort my ideas to separate catorgories.

Writing Skills

  • How to edit essays to keep the word limit down and every sentence necessary.
  • How to structure essays for this style of question.
  • How to structure a good thesis question and the importance of having a solid intro.

Content and Visual Text Analysis Tools

  • The ‘myth of photographic truth’ to unpack photographs.
  • Understanding perspective in photography  (Sturken and Cartwright)
  • From the lectures understanding the way ideologies are present in our lives and how it is relevant to how people interpret visual texts.

Research and Information Gathering Tools and Protocols

  • These essay questions are quite complicated and there are many ways to interpret and unpack them and planning and preparation of the blog tasks allowed me to have a greater understanding of the question before starting the essay.
  • How to use the Massey library was extremely useful in gathering info and researching
  • How to gather visual texts and reference from the original source correctly.