Targeting "Plan Colombia": A Critical Analysis of Ideological and Political Visual Narratives by the Beehive Collective and the Drug Enforcement Administration Museum

Erler, Carolyn
October 2008
Studies in Art Education;Fall2008, Vol. 50 Issue 1, p83
Academic Journal
This article compares the Beehive Collective's "Plan Colombia" to a museum exhibition representing the official U.S. position on Plan Colombia. Through a dialectical (Kellner & Share, 2007; Greene, 1988) reading of "Plan Colombia" and "Target America," i examine how each uses visual narrative to promote a particular reading of Plan Colombia. Drawing upon the body of scholarship in art education that promotes transdisciplinary approaches to studying the visual/Bolin & Blandy, 2003; Darts, 2004, 2006; Duncum, 2001, 2004; Freedman, 2003), this article employs perspectives from the field of visual communications, which includes visual narrative, visual rhetoric, and critical media literacy. I argue that teachers can use visual narrative and rhetoric to enhance their own critical media literacy skills. Literacy in these areas can make teachers more aware of the political "deep background" of visual objects and images--an awareness they must have if they are to pass it on to students.


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