Author: thapl17684@gapps.uwcsea.edu.sg (Page 1 of 3)

Reflection on Political Cartoons

 

  • What have I learned about creating meaning through the interaction of visual and lexical elements? 

I have learned that thought goes into every detail in a photograph/political cartoon/framing of a scene etc. The amount of symbolism that can be found in each object, color, and background urges me to look past the surface of the photo and dig deeper. I also learned that researching the context and why the cartoonist/director may have chosen to depict an issue a certain way would provide another dimension for the analysis, just like analyzing a piece of literature.

How are ideas communicated through the interaction of visual and lexical elements?

Ideas are communicated through the placement of objects, (for example, if a man is higher than the woman in the cartoon, it may represent the power that males exert over females in today’s society), colors and their uses (the use of red may symbolise warnings, blood, thus depicting danger and fear), and facial expressions/lack of (if there’s no face it may mean the anonymity and perhaps power they control). Every single detail is used to represent an idea or an opinion, but more than that, it strives to present a NEW idea to a current issue or an already known topic. The ability of these symbolic items to interact with texts and captions creates a new depth to the cartoon. Often satirical lexicon is used to grab the attention of those who are viewing the cartoon to incentivise them to continue looking further. In our cartoon, we used “money or honey”, a play on words to make it rhyme, and for it to relate to the visual of Winnie the pooh reaching for the honey. We labeled honey the “security law”, making the context easier to follow and analyse. The words gave insight into the context, but the visuals gave insight into China’s fundamental greed for power by associating him with pooh, who will do anything for his honey!

What are the similarities and differences between an opinion article and a political cartoon?

 

Opinion articles follow a particular structure, whereas political cartoons rely much on the artist’s creativity and originality. Political cartoons use tactics such as exaggeration of a certain feature (the mouth), to suggest the character’s loudness, ability to reach people/annoy or their public platform. Opinion articles are not able to exaggerate features or draw too much symbolism since it is meant to be presenting more factual information, whereas a political cartoon can take a clear stand.

Reflection #1: CREST Awards

For the longest time, I did not know what research topic I wanted to do. I definitely knew I wanted to research on a psychological and biological area, but I could not place my finger on a topic. I was listening to music one day and realised the way my mood drastically changed after. I went from feeling lifeless, to humming along, a small, but very real smile on my face. This gave me an idea to relate music to mood – I had experienced the way it reduced my stress countless times before. I went onto the CREST website to look at the types of projects they were looking for. I realised that the research projects required primary data, or a “fresh perspective” on an issue in STEM. I could not put my finger on what type of project would be suitable under our current circumstances. I felt like I was going in circles. I did not know what topic I wanted to do, which type of project I should do, I was overcomplicating what CREST was looking for, and I felt quite unmotivated. After a few conversations with my teachers, with my friends, and researching on the topic of music therapy, I finally decided on a question:

“What are the psychological and biological effects of music therapy on individuals diagnosed with autism?”

I realised that its okay to take time to decide on what needs to be done. Refining of a question or a thought will always continue, but committing to an initial idea will be the first step forward. I then decided that I wanted to do a communications project, in which I’ll be able to (hopefully), make an engaging video which I can show to communities that support individuals/families with individuals who have autism. This will give me more satisfaction than a “Gold Award” for CREST – I’ll actually be making a difference to people’s lives, and that’s something I am passionate about. From now on, I will be researching the topic by breaking it down into different segments and recording my bibliography along the way. I aim to set a goal for each weekend so that I can ensure I’m progressing steadily towards the end result! I can definitely tell that time will be a huge challenge and struggle for me, but I need to keep pushing forward. Understanding that this project is NOT school work – it’s a way to discover what you love, and potentially a way to help people, is what will keep me motivated and happy no matter what.

Amolika’s Personal SWOT Analysis

STRENGTHS

  • Interested in both, music and science. Curious mindset, and love the mesh of psychology and science.
  • I think I can hold my ethical ground above all else in most situations. I have a strong moral compass that I feel the need to abide by.
  • I have creativity, a willingness to learn and curiosity.
  • Teachers (hopefully) think I’m hardworking, intelligent and cooperative.
  • I’m proud of my achievements in Singing, where I have overcome my stage fright.
  • I believe that one must follow their moral compass and ethical knowledge to guide them. Getting swayed by the shinier things in life do not always have positive consequences.

WEAKNESSES:

  • I don’t feel confident doing things such as playing sports in a highly competitive environment, or attempting skills in front of others who are perfect/professional at said skill.
  • I can be too negative – might be demotivated easily by setbacks/lose confidence
  • I think I’m quite organised, however, I get quite stressed when I have multiple things to be doing which can distract me from my main focus. I dislike it when people tell me how to do things.
  • Not a fear per say, but I dislike taking risks.

OPPORTUNITIES:

  • I can use surveys/emails/social media to contact individuals willing to participate in any studies
  • Something to help people stay more focused/to help with their mindfulness?

THREATS:

  • Lots of things going on at school which can make it challenging to complete this task with the dedication I desire
  • Applying for GOLD will be challenging and competitive. I need to come up with an idea that will present a unique finding

“You Clap For Me Now” Poem Analysis

Cinematographic structure:

All the camera shots are taken head-on, at eye level. This suggests that this matter is serious, which requires a real connection with those speaking (in the video). Eye contact is maintained in a conversation mainly when we want to engage or get a message across – this video’s camera angle enforces that. 

Wearing their uniforms/workplace attire, such as doctors, delivery drivers, teachers to suggest how these “immigrants” are involved in everyday life, almost all the time, and we depend on them as these roles are deemed “essential.” 

This woman is seen to be wearing a hijab, suggesting that she may be muslim. We know that many Muslims face discrimination due to prejudices against them. However, the choice for her to wear the stethescope with her hijab may completely change people’s mindsets, because they now see her as a doctor. It may suggest that when they put on their uniform, they are treated well, but on a day-to-day basis, they suffer discrimination. 

Furthermore, the stereotype of men having to be doctors and the “white” ethnicity to be seen to be superior is also addressed by the doctor being a colored, female individual. The doctor also has a cleft palate surgery “scar” , which may have caused her to face bullying in her past and implies that she has gone through more than racial discrimination. The word “toil” creates the image of someone struggling or squirming, linking to how this situation is painful for the health care workers. 

This video is seen to be taken at a hospital. The equipment seen in the background such as the sink, air ventilator, and stethoscope are all essential to fight off this pandemic. This may bring out the idea that fighting this pandemic is within the hands of doctors and nurses, hence they will be seen as superior despite their ethnicity during this pandemic everyone plays a part and is bringing people together.

 

 

 

“Gone Viral”

Gone Viral:

  • Fear of others
    • Point: Poet emphasises through the “twin-structure”, the different approaches to this epidemic, and the tendency everyone has to look for someone to blame. This translates in xenophobia.
      Evidence: “How can we avoid/foreign/disease-ridden/walking pathogens..”
      Analysis: The use of “we” and “foreign” creates a stark contrast by highlighting that there is a divide amongst society. “Foreign” suggests that it is someone coming from abroad, or not from your country who is a “walking pathogens”. Furthermore, “walking pathogen” implies that they themselves are viewed as the disease – not because they carry the virus – but because they are foreign…
    • Point: Poet then suggests that this fear of others moves from being scared of one group of people, to being suspicious and fearful of anyone in society.
      Evidence: “Anyone coughing or sneezing/ be on your guard.”
      Analysis: The use of “anyone” suggests that it is not being wary of any person surrounding you, regardless of who they are. Anything as regular as coughing and sneezing (things even a normal baby does!) now prods us to “be on your guard.” Furthermore, “be on your guard” creates the image of protecting yourself from something dangerous or harmful. The poet implies that “anyone coughing or sneezing” is enough of a reason to be fearful of them, and to protect yourself from THEM (not the virus).
  • Masking real thoughts and feelings
    • Point: The poet uses the mask as a metaphor to symbolise how people are covering their true intentions and true beliefs – which is the fear of other people.
      Evidence: “Xenophobes” are seen to “mask their true intentions.” Analysis: Throughout the poem, “mask” is used as the literal masks which are worn during the pandemic. However, “mask their true intentions”, suggests that this mask is also covering people’s true intentions – which is to blame someone else for this virus, and to be spiteful towards one another.
  • Fear of fear itself
    • Point: The poet points out that the pandemic, which causes the eventual fear of each other, is as dangerous to our society as the virus is to our body.
      Evidence: “All this paranoia is as lethal as any other pandemic”
      Analysis: “Lethal” has a strong connotation of something deadly and dangerous. The poet is nudging the audience to evaluate their fear, and examine whether it is more lethal than the pandemic itself.
    • Point: When read horizontally, the poet chides the reader to realise that humanity’s reaction is less than ideal, as we are turning against one another, fueled by fear itself, and not fear of the virus.
      Evidence: “this disease of our own ignorance”
      Analysis: The poet draws a comparison between the real disease of COVID-19, and the disease caused by our lack of empathy and awareness. The word “disease”, highlights to the reader than although we may not be infected with COVID-19, our mindsets are infected.

Reflection: Documentation

 

Students Should Share Their Process, Not Just Their Product

This article has highlighted the importance of sharing one’s process, as not only a way to reflect on our learning, but to help others through mentorship, collaboration, etc. I strongly agree with this article, because it is always the documentation of your journey which gives more satisfaction (in my opinion), than the end result.

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