A short text on visual literacy, and media creation of public health videos for Covid-19
Knowledge of the creative environments and pedagogical concerns behind this audio-visual material on the crisis would be an interesting entry point for discussing their respective virtues and failings. Generally speaking, such videos are an attempt to simplify the scientific and policy discourse to the degree by which the non-expert and a child audience are able to make sense of it and act accordingly. These videos therefore are means of public perlocutionary speech, they interpolate the subject in its pandemized condition, and have to be read and evaluated thusly, i.e. as ideological media or mediatized ideology.
What interests me in the field of text/image online tutorials and instructional videos most, however, are the problems inherent in the reduction and modulation of the complexity of epidemiological fact. Moreover, the importance drawing and illustration art are granted for this purpose, and the background and experience from which such instructional visuals on the coronavirus crisis are produced, inform this translation and reduction that aims at didactic efficiency. The choices for style, technique, look etc. assume considerable relevance, particularly as they often tend to be neglected and ignored, simply taken for granted and thus beyond perceptive attention or out of the crosshairs of any critical perspective.
The current production of learning material targeting a young audience that is largely home-based and home-schooled these weeks did not come into existence without knowledge of preceding visual materials created for teaching and guiding through epidemics. Their efficiency in inoculating the pandemic by pedagogical means has depended by necessity on literacies developed prior to the current crisis.