This Future Research Leader project aims to increase understanding of the representations and power of visual imagery for engaging people with climate change. Every day, images evoking climate change are created and made meaningful in the public arena. But images are not neutral. Imagery which gains dominance promotes particular ways of knowing about climate change, whilst marginalising others. These insights are important, as particular ways of knowing about climate support (or inhibit) particular science-society-policy interactions. This research critically examines the visual representations of climate change in mass and new media; and explores how the power of visual images can be used to engage people with climate change.

The in an interdisciplinary, internationally-comparative and multi-phase project. Part A will use content and frame analyses to critically analyse a diverse international corpus of visual imagery, from both mass and new media sources. Part B will use photo-elicitation to explore how participant-created images can engage and empower people to imagine different climate futures, in the context of adaptation to sea-level rise.

The project makes links to international research leaders in the social dimensions of climate change, through the project partner (University of Melbourne) and the projects collaborators (University of Colorado-Boulder and American University).

Start date
30 September 2012
End date
29 September 2015
Grant holder
Dr Saffron O'Neill
Grant amount
Grant reference
Environmental Planning
Climate & Climate Change
Grant type