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Frontiers of Visibility

On Diving Mobility in Underwater Films (1920s to 1970s)

Franziska Torma

This article deals with the history of underwater film and the role that increased mobility plays in the exploration of nature. Drawing on research on the exploration of the ocean, it analyzes the production of popular images of the sea. The entry of humans into the depths of the oceans in the twentieth century did not revitalize myths of mermaids but rather retold oceanic myths in a modern fashion. Three stages stand out in this evolution of diving mobility. In the 1920s and 1930s, scenes of divers walking under water were the dominant motif. From the 1940s to the 1960s, use of autonomous diving equipment led to a modern incarnation of the “mermen“ myth. From the 1950s to the 1970s, cinematic technology was able to create visions of entire oceanic ecosystems. Underwater films contributed to the period of machine-age exploration in a very particular way: they made virtual voyages of the ocean possible and thus helped to shape the current understanding of the oceans as part of Planet Earth.

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The (In)visibility of the Iberian Lynx

From Vermin to Conservation Emblem

Margarida Lopes-Fernandes and Amélia Frazão-Moreira

Not much is known about how the cultural image of predators has been constructed in Western contexts and changed through time. This article reviews representations of lynx in Western Europe. A ‘cultural map’ of lynx in historical contexts is presented, and the ‘social visibility’ of the Iberian lynx in Portugal explored. Since prehistoric times the lynx has been an inspiration, an amulet, a creature gifted with extraordinary capacities but also a food item, and a ‘vermin’ to eliminate. Recently, the Iberian lynx has become a global conservation emblem; once a noxious predator, it is now a symbol of wilderness. Examples show how the species acquired visibility and has been appropriated in contemporary contexts such as logos, ‘green’ marketing, urban art or political campaigns. There is also evidence of a new identity construction in Portuguese rural areas where lynx is being reintroduced, exemplifying a process of objectification of nature.

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Kate Pride Brown

Why do some arid locations persist in having weak water conservation policies? And why do some wetter locales implement comparatively strong conservation requirements? Based upon 43 qualitative interviews with water stakeholders in four selected cities (Atlanta, Phoenix, San Antonio, Tampa), this article puts forward one contributing factor to explain this apparent contradiction: the variable “visibility” of stressed water resources. The material conditions of different water sources (e.g., groundwater, surface water) and geologies (i.e., during droughts or during flooding) provide variable opportunities to “see” water scarcity. The visual impacts of shrinking water resources can become a major motivating factor in the general public for increased water conservation. However, water supply is often physically invisible. In these circumstances, the image of water supply may be intentionally conjured in the public mind to produce similar concern. Assured, steady supply, on the other hand, can dampen the public will for strong conservation policy.

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“Turban-clad” British Subjects

Tracking the Circuits of Mobility, Visibility, and Sexuality in Settler Nation-Making

Nadia Rhook

The late nineteenth century saw a wave of Indian migrants arrive in Victoria, many of whom took up the occupation of hawking. These often-described “turban-clad hawkers” regularly became visible to settlers as they moved through public space en route to the properties of their rural customers. This article explores how the turban became a symbol of the masculine threat Indians posed to the settler order of late nineteenth-century Victoria, Australia. This symbolism was tied up with the two-fold terrestrial and oceanic mobility of 'turban-clad' men; mobilities that took on particular meanings in a settler-colonial context where sedentarism was privileged over movement, and in a decade when legislators in Victoria and across the Australian colonies were working out ways to exclude Indian British subjects from the imagined Australian nation. I argue that European settlers' anxieties about the movements of Indian British subjects over sea and over land became metonymically conflated in ways that expressed and informed the late nineteenth-century project to create a settled and purely white nation. These findings have repercussions for understandings of the contemporaneous emergence of nationalisms in other British settler colonies.

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In/visible--In/secure

Optics of regulation and control

Ieva Jusionyte and Daniel M. Goldstein

In the introduction to this theme section we attempt to disentangle the webs of in/visibility and in/security by tracing out their diverse iterations. We construct a series of conversations between two of the four key terms relevant to this discussion—security and insecurity, visibility and invisibility—as a means of analyzing the different ways in which their various articulations engage meaningfully in the production and reproduction of contemporary security cultures. Ethnographic examples accompany each iteration, drawn from the work of contributors to this theme section, as well as from other contemporary research. These examples not only illustrate the multiple and shift ing intersections of in/visibility and in/security in today’s security-minded world but also remind us of the unique contributions that anthropology can make to the critical study of security.

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Introduction

Religion in Post-secular and Post-communist Europe – Trends, Visions and Challenges

Tatiana Podolinská

Anthropologists in their quest to define the key symbols or the root metaphors of contemporary modern living in Europe suggest that popularity is a strong indicator of dominant culture thematics (Ortner 1973; Fernandéz 2002). Among the most significant phenomena of the new era is religion, and currently the most topical is discussion of the new visibility of religion in the public sphere (Zinser 2007).

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Mario Caciagli and Alan S. Zuckerman

The Jubilee of the Catholic Church is the most frequently mentioned

event in the chronology that precedes this introduction to

the sixteenth edition of Politics in Italy. It could not have been otherwise,

in light of its impact on Italian public life and visibility in

the mass media throughout the year 2000. The “first planetary and

media jubilee,” as Gianfranco Brunelli terms it in his contribution

to this volume, stands at the center of this book’s section on Italian

society. Consider only some of the salient events that marked

this celebration: May Day, which the trade unions left nearly

entirely for the Pope to celebrate; the Gay Pride demonstration and

the attendant protests from the Vatican; Haider’s visit; the arrival of

tens of millions of pilgrims to the Eternal City, the impressive

amount of public works brought to completion in Rome, and the

added visibility of Rome’s mayor Francesco Rutelli. In the imagination

of most Italians, the year 2000 will remain the Jubilee year.

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Ruth Friedman

In 2005, CEJI – a Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe – began an initiative to promote dialogue and understanding between Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe, and to enhance the visibility of already existing dialogue projects. The endeavour began with a series of national reports, was marked by a European conference of seventy people in April 2007, and culminated in the establishment of a European Platform for Jewish Muslim Co-operation.

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Sarah E. Whitney

In this article, I consider middle-grade tween literature through a Black Girl Magic framework that creates space and visibility for girls of color in postfeminist America. I read two works of fiction by middle-grade author Sherri Winston through such a lens. By locating girls’ tweenhood as a space of developmental continuity, and by claiming an aesthetic of sparkle, Black Girl Magic readings can re-situate dominant interpretations of the tween literary hero and provide exciting new methods for reading middle-grade fiction.

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Not Just a Phase

Queer Girlhood and Coming of Age on Screen

Whitney Monaghan

In this article, I seek to interrogate the visibility of queer girls in contemporary cinema. I demonstrate how queerness has long been associated with a passing phase of adolescent development in the teen media sphere. I reflect on the nuanced relationships between queerness and girlhood in four contemporary US independent queer films, arguing that Pariah (2011), Mosquita y Mari (2012), First Girl I Loved (2016), and Princess Cyd (2017) are representative of a new wave of queer girlhood on screen. Rejecting the pervasive tropes of coming out as coming of age and just a phase, these films use queer girlhood to challenge linear models of girlhood.