And finishing up with VOICES in images…


Do you notice anything about this Time magazine cover from 2013?

It’s clever, right?  Each face represents a different culture, overall conveying Australia’s multicultural society.  Each culture is given a VOICE.

Or are they?

There seems to be one extremely important VOICE that has been omitted.

Can you deduct whose is it?



The glossary at the back of your SCSA ATAR English syllabus (found here: offers a definition of this course concept:

Over the next week or so we will look at VOICES in a wide variety of texts.

VOICES IN TEXTS. Think of the phrase “giving a voice to the voiceless”. Voices in texts gets us to think about writers, directors, poets, bloggers, journalists etc. who may want to speak out on behalf of someone – an individual, a minority group – and present their PERSEPCTIVE.

Today, we'll kick off with this image.

#KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (“Humanity washed ashore”)   This photograph of a toddler’s lifeless body that washed ashore on a prime tourist resort beach in Turkey, after a refugee boat sank, sparked horrified reactions across the world.  “The harrowing image that shows the true tragedy of the refugee crisis,” read a headline in Britain’s Daily Telegraph, while the Guardian said the photo “brought home” the horror of the situation.  “If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?” The Independent said.


The photograph of the policeman cradling a toddler’s body is extremely shocking and upsetting but the media felt that it needed to be seen.

Can you see how such a CONTROVERSIAL photograph can give a VOICE to the plight of refugees, in particular, the innocent children of families trying to flee war-torn countries?

The photograph was published at a time when EMPATHY for the refugee crisis was lacking across Europe and had a huge impact, conveying the PERSPECTIVE of a refugee and changing attitudes worldwide.

Comprehending, Responding


One of the problems many ATAR students have is that they don’t ELABORATE enough when responding to a text:
“…..and this made me feel sad.”
Never fear – one very simple word can help you:  BECAUSE
Look at the terrific advertisement from Canon below.
There are a LOT of very effective VISUAL FEATURES:  juxtaposition, foregrounding, focus, gaze, clothing, setting, props, facial expression, body positioning, use of stereotypes, celebrity endorsement, direct address etc.
Imagine we are asked to explain how visual techniques encourage us to RESPOND:
“The juxtaposing of the supermodel and the homeless man MAKES ME FEEL SAD.”
Okay - now how can we ELABORATE on this?
  • “….makes me feel sad BECAUSE I don’t think that our governments are doing enough to help people on the streets.”
  • “….makes me feel sad BECAUSE this man can’t even afford basics like food and shelter, yet people that have the ability to help him are wasting money on meaningless things.”
  • “….makes me feel sad BECAUSE in our society the rich seem to be getting richer, while more and more people are becoming poorer.”
Using the word BECAUSE forces you to give a REASON – and your values, attitudes and beliefs are deeply embedded in these reasons (even though you may not realise it!).  🙂

Thinking about REPRESENTATION of gender

Look at the film still below - obviously, it's from a very old film.  Do these two characters reinforce or challenge traditional representations of gender?

Think about the visual codes you are reading/interpreting in order to arrive at your opinion:
- appearance
- clothing
- props
- gestures/body language
- facial expression
- symbols
- positioning

Most images in your examinations and in-class assessments will have males or females in them.  Pay attention to how they have been constructed and think about the social attitudes that are being represented in that image.