Developing new approaches for analyzing social media images

Laboratory by Visual Social Media Lab‘s Team: Farida Vis Anne Burns, Simon Faulkner, Alexandra Boutopoulou and Ray Drainville

Saturday 18, from 10:00am/2:00pm – 3:30/7:30pm
CCCB (Mirador)
*Laboratory in English

Price: 15 € (10 € for students from our School Partners: Grisart, IEFC, IDEP)
Capacity: 15 participants by order of registration


This workshop will offer participants an opportunity to work with five members of the Visual Social Media Lab (VSML) and find out more about the approaches this interdisciplinary group of researchers is developing for analyzing social media images. It will take the VSML’s work on the images of the death of Alan Kurdi as a key example and explore how to fruitfully go beyond ‘the surface of the photograph’ and consider how online images spread within and beyond platforms, how to use large scale and smaller scale quantitative methods, how to closely read images using different qualitative methods. The workshop will also consider the ‘life’ of these images and how the images of Alan Kurdi continue to be used beyond their original publication. We will consider a number of recent examples. The workshop will include a range of different activities including discussions, hands on image activities (including situating the Alan Kurdi images in different ways, building image timelines), as well as exploring how such methods can be used for other complex phenomena that may be harder to ‘reduce to a photograph’ such as climate change.

Farida Vis, Director Visual Social Media Lab, Faculty Research Fellow, Information School, University of Sheffield; Simon Faulkner, Co-Director VSML, Senior Lecturer in Art History, Manchester School of Art, Anne Burns, VSML Researcher, Alexandra Boutopoulou, VSML PhD researcher (University of Sheffield), Ray Drainville, VSML PhD researcher, Manchester School of Art.

The Visual Social Media Lab brings together a group of internationally leading interdisciplinary researchers from academia and industry interested in analysing social media images. It was founded in 2014 in a conscious effort to create a meeting point for researchers from different sectors and disciplinary backgrounds, including Media and Communication Studies, Visual Culture, Art History, Software Studies, Sociology, Computer Science and Information Science. The aim of the VSML is to explore how different methods for the analysis of social media images can be combined or work in conjunction with each other. Follow the VSML on Twitter: @VisSocMedLab