The Conscious Gaze: Visuality as Practice in the Post-modern World

By Mischa Davison and Anahit Falihi.

Published by The Diversity Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Negotiating the increasing cross-cultural interactions in today’s societies is a reality in today’s global village. As diverse cultures interact, both one of the most volatile and the most potent tools for either cultural contact or culture clash is image. Visual culture is embedded in a socio-political context that informs the process of visuality; of seeing and being seen. Without critical awareness and creative engagement, exposure to visual diversity as a result of both increased human migration and the proliferation of images on the World Wide Web, tends to result in negative intercultural interactions and responses based on complex and unexamined associations. What is needed in order to envision strong and diverse communities is not so much a specific social or educational model for change, but an ongoing practice of ‘conscious visuality’; embracing both criticality and creatively visual engagement in order to envision new ways of being in relationship to each other and to our visual environment.

Keywords: Cross Cultural Interaction, Diversity Education, Community Visioning, Social Identity, Visual Literacy Education, Visual Culture

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.139-148. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 642.296KB).

Mischa Davison

Researcher/Educator, Independent Researcher, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Mischa Davison is a community researcher/educator and a somatic psychotherapist. Both her research and her practice centre on increasing the resilience and vitality of individual as well as community systems through social connectedness, personal creativity and somatic awareness. Mischa Davison graduated in 2009 from the University of Saskatchewan with an M.Ed in counseling psychology and has been involved in work and research and resource development in the area of cross cultural education and awareness. She also provides cultural bridging workshops to the community as well as to immigrant and refugee families, provides newcomer parenting classes and, in 2009, developed a training manual and workshop for facilitators of cross-cultural parenting classes. As well, she runs a part-time private practice, providing trauma therapy through the use of somatic (body-based) psychotherapy.

Anahit Falihi

Researcher, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Anahit is a visual artist and researcher working in a variety of areas including fine arts, textiles arts, mixed-media arts and digital media arts. Her teaching and research focus are visual communication art, visual literacy, the role of visual studies in society, art education, art history, media art and design, theory and philosophy of visual education, instructional design, theatre and costume design, installation sculpture, experimental fiber art and design, and mix-media production. She has worked with the art departments of several feature films and television series as program coordinator and art director. Anahit who traveled and lived in a variety of countries in Europe and Asia, believes that her works are influenced by variety of cultures. Anahit’s work has been shown in local, national and international exhibitions. She holds a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from Marmara University in Turkey. Currently, She is engaged in teaching and research on critical visuality through her graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

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