What image of hunger have we got in our heads?

Written by Pablo Zareceansky in the category FAM open source

One of the first parts of this transmedia project we plan to publish is the webdoc. We still haven't come up with a name for it yet, even though we've been working on it for almost a year. We are putting a lot of care into its design, hoping that it will hit you with an element of surprise.

The webdoc is based on the concept of an audio-visual source code, a wonderful idea borrowed from our colleagues at Zemos98. From their base in Seville, they gave birth to this concept which has fascinated us with its potential to explain the things that go on in our minds. They also refer to it there as the hidden resume.

A source code is the combination of text which enables a computer to execute a software program. Sharing the source code is the basis of free software. As people, we have a vision of the world built on all we have learnt, heard, read and seen throughout our lives. This has shaped our own source code of beliefs and knowledge. Our imagery is created by how we interact. To that extent, much of the source code of our own imagery - those instructions that tell us how to think and interpret the world around us - have all got an audio-visual element. The vast majority of Europeans can’t claim to have had any direct contact with the issue of hunger. They have not seen how malnutrition can cause the death of so many people around the world. Instead, their source code for hunger is mostly audio-visual. It has been written and shaped by the media and more recently by NGOs who run information campaigns.

Our webdoc sets out to decipher and share this source code, hoping to unravel how our minds have developed an incorrect image of the hunger situation. This incomplete imagery of the situation holds back our social attitudes which should be completetly different meaning that the causes of famine are perpetuated and the problem is not eliminated.

Unlike the use of the concept by zemos98, who focus on the individual and the attributes of one particular person; we would like to see how this code can work on a social level. There could hardly be a better issue than hunger for trying this out. The similarity of our imagery on this matter is so stark; the invisibility of the political and social causes is so profound; it seems we all share practically the same lines of source code. This is what our webdoc aims to uncover. To put it another way, those of you who browse through the documentary can explore what your own lines of source code are and therefore, which of these source commands are shaping your thoughts, actions and reactions wrongly or incompletely.

We believe that just as with free software, opening up the audio-visual source code means that as a society we can understand it, ‘debug’ it, and improve it. Then we can move towards changes which will help society break the circle of not getting involved. These new directions can make for a different way of looking at things and this, this really has the potential to put an end to hunger.

Here we’d like to share the source code of Toni Serra from OVNI, which comes closer than most in tying in with what we what to achieve. Here is the introduction taken from Zemos:

Toni Serra Hacking the Veil: The realities produced by the mainstream media interfere with our direct experience, creating hegemonic discourses that are difficult to tear down. How can we begin? ‘Hacking’ the veil of imposed images is a crucial challenge if we are to generate a model of inclusive citizenship and to demolish the monuments of neoliberalism, revealing the shadows that they cast.

Audiovisual Source Code: Toni Serra from ZEMOS98 on Vimeo.

Here, to dig deeper, we recommend this article written by Pedro Jiménez and Felipe G. Gil, members of Zemos98 on the audio-visual source code.

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