A trained eye always spots what others may miss in a picture. The workshop cultivated in the students a deeper understanding of what it means to read an image. The session began with students sharing what their favourite images meant to them and then went on to examine what an image is, and what are ‘texts’ that can be read.

They were introduced to the concepts of ‘signifiers’ and ‘signifieds’ and they applied these concepts interestingly to analyse a series of handpicked images from popular culture and Art. These included a painting by Cotan, Las Meninas by Velasquez, Bollywood film posters, an 19th century soap advertisement, images of dolls and so on. The use of light, foregrounding, space, symmetry and distance were elaborated on.

The discussion that followed the reading of the images delved into themes of historic and sociological interest, such as racism, constructs of gender and beauty. The session ended with students exploring popular images and memes meaningful to them, using image analysis.

Ferzine Imtiaz, Facilitator