Monday, January 2, 2012

Visual Essay: Process Analysis

First half: Stereotype
  • The visual essay starts with how people (that don't know as much about Muslims/Islam) think of Muslims. Images of violence, and bombings, hateful messages and overall hatred is expressed in the pictures. 
  • The stereotypical section isn't composed of all violent images; there's a balance between violent and potentially violent (kids being taught bad lessons) that still contribute to the overall stereotypical image of Muslims.
  • The most overpowering rhetorical element of this essay is use of emotional appeals. Children with guns, elders teaching their young to become killers, hateful messages towards the USA are all things that are sure to get the emotions of the people watching worked up.
The Switch
  • The video started with a man with words covering his face, words that seemed to define him, such as Terrorist and 9/11. Ending the stereotype section with this image, I was trying to get the idea across that "is this what you think of Muslims, this?" and then have it transform into the girl with the writing on her face that defined her as a Muslim (also, both images say "Muslim" on the face also).
  • Making the images transform from one to the other shows that there are two sides to every story. We may see a certain group of people as one way, but in reality they see themselves (or others see them) as another. 
  • Starting the "reality" section with the girl makes a frame of mind for the reader for what's to come for the rest of the project. They can anticipate pictures that are "hopeful" (as her face says).
Second Half: Reality
  • The images in this section are the direct opposite of those that were presented in the stereotype section ("Down with USA" --> kids holding an American flag)
  • The contrasting images (between the stereotype section and reality section) are organized so they're roughly equal distances away from the transformation of the faces (like parents teaching kids to be bombers versus a mother fixing her daughters headscarf). This let a thought that had perhaps been planted in the viewer's mind be contrasted later on when they had consciously forgotten about it. 
  • Close family moments, little children that seem to be devoutly religious all tug at our heartstrings. Pictures that showed strong relationships and devotion to appeal to the emotions of the people watching. 
Other Video Elements
From Animoto, I chose the "Fire" theme because it makes the images disintegrate as they change. They burn up, but then always have another to replace it. This shows that even though there are ill feelings toward Muslims, they have the potential to change.

Musical selection
The song is I Still Believe by Jeremy Camp. Though this is a Christian song, the message I got from it was just hopeful and uplifting. It starts off as dejected (stereotype section) and gets hopeful as the viewpoint of the video transforms into the "reality" section.

The Toulmin Model
Claim: Muslims aren't violent, and most are for peace and creating healthy relationships.
Reason: In the images, the tender gestures are obvious towards family and friends (hugging, fixing the little girl's headscarf), but also when they are practicing their religion, because they look very calm and at peace (the man praying in front of the mosque, men hugging).
Warrant: because many Muslims give importance to things like building up relationships and practicing their religion, it makes them caring and peaceful people.

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