As individuals, our own knowledge and beliefs play a pivotal role in how we perceive things, and sometimes causes us to interpret signs and images differently to others. I want you to look at the image below and think about what message is being conveyed here.
This image was released by WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) as part of their campaign to bring awareness to the mistreatment of these amazing animals. It clearly depicts an elephant turning to dust and truly makes you think what we, as humans, have done to cause this to such innocent beings.
The hunting and slaughtering of animals has become so prevalent in today’s society and many people see it as normal or okay. Deforestation has also rapidly increased over the decades. We have already lost 50% of the world’s original forests. And when all the trees are gone, where will the animals live? If some of the most popular animals we have now, one day go extinct, we won’t ever be able to bring them back.
To me, the overruling message that is being conveyed is – what happens when they are all gone?
Having said this, the image above certainly can be perceived in another way. Because I am interested in animal rights and am very compassionate toward them, someone who is not, may find another message in this image. And that is okay, too. It all depends on an individual’s background knowledge, thoughts and beliefs around these topics, and that may alter the way we each perceive certain ideas. We are all different and that is what makes images like this so interesting to analyse.
Saylor Acadamy. (2019). Differences in Perception. https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_business-communication-for-success/s07-03-differences-in-perception.html [accessed 11 April, 2019]