For this week’s RMCAD ACAD1000 assignment, we were supposed to critically read Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle and pose a question based on the theme of the work. The following is what I wrote.
The example I used was an interesting social ad campaign trying to reach out to children who were the victim of physical abuse. The Spectacle paper clearly made points about the negative side of ‘spectacles’ and visual appearances, but imagery can also redirect people at reality and have positive effects on society.
Guy Debord’s The Society of the Spectacle discusses the negative effects that imagery propagated by capitalist culture can have on people and society. However, there have been campaigns for good causes that have used the same tactics.
Recently, an advertising campaign created by the Spanish organization Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation created an illusory image that was designed to empower children who are the victims of child abuse. When a normally-sized adult looks at the ad, they would only see an image of a child and the phrase “Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.” However, if a child or anyone shorter than 4 feet 5 inches looks at the ad, they would see: “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you.”
Do you believe that the tools of the spectacle can be used for good? If so, can you name any examples? If not, can you explain why you believe so?