Democracy in Pictures

Why are there images here, and what do they mean?

 

To raise the question is, we believe, part of the answer, since there is no solitary meaning, no solitary truth, no solitary approach to understanding life, no one sense of reality to the wondrous, dynamic, incredibly diverse expression of humanity that exists throughout the world. People will identify, understand, interpret and engage with these images, and their own socio-constructed realities, in different ways. The socio-political, historical, cultural, ideological and experiential ways that human-beings live, survive and engage with life is exceptionally varied, complex and nuanced. Some of the images will evoke and express joy, happiness and hope, and others will exemplify and instill sadness, despair and an almost senseless level of hopelessness. Some of the images will provoke feelings of frustration and even rage, and others will touch on the indelible humane capacity of people (and animals) to love one another. Are wars, conflict and violence necessary? Can we do something to diminish or eliminate hatred, racism, sexism and other entrenched forms of discrimination? Can we move outside of our own comfort-zones to empathize with “others”? How do we understand reality, social change and the reason for living? All of this, and much more, connects to our conceptualization of democracy, global citizenship and transformative education. Being able to dialog, debate, engage and interact with “others” and with a range of circumstances, controversies and realities is an important feature of the quest to build a democratic society, and these images, we hope, may open the door to critical epistemological reflection, and also for consideration for the many actions we engage in, or do not engage in. Ultimately, these images also reflect, in some small part, the almost infinite diversity of cultural expression that constantly frames, underpins and develops our sense of our place in an increasingly (inter-)connected world, one that contains, sadly, still far too much conflict, social inequalities, poverty and exclusion. However, much can be done to create a more decent society, and we hope that our UNESCO Chair in DCMÉT will contribute to this endless process of seeking to, humbly, make sense of power relations, social change and human participation in communities, socieities and nations, thus connecting with our focus on democracy, global citizenship and transformative education. Being open to discuss the diverse complexities that frame and characterize our disparate and inter-meshed worlds is, for us, a necessary starting-point.

Legal disclaimer: The UNESCO Chair DCMÉT does not claim copyright on the images presented in this gallery, nor does it seek to profit financially from them. The images are presented as part of an educational exercise that aims to give an account of the diversity of socio-political and other significations and representations related to democracy and citizen participation. The images were made by third-parties, and gathered from public websites and networks, such as Facebook. A verification to determine whether there may be any restrictions for its non-commercial use has been undertaken. If you believe that any of the images on this website has restrictions for its non-commercial, educative use, please contact us, and we will promptly make the required changes.

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