Images that change the world

Images that change the world – See the exhibition at the University of Göttingen from 8 December 2022 to 13 January 2023 at the ZESS (Centre for Languages and Transferable Skills), Goßlerstraße 10.

Who is your prime minister? Who cleans your office? Who is on the hockey team? Who runs a book club and who drives a tractor? Norms and stereotypes are all around us. We hope that the exhibition, Images that change the world, with photographs by the gender photographer Tomas Gunnarsson, will make you question your own stereotypes.

A few years ago, the Gävle municipality in Sweden began to review what images it presented in its official material. It turned out that these images did not tell the stories of the entire population of Gävle. For example, photos of men and women mainly represented traditional gender roles. This is how the work on Images that change the world began.

Norms are about how we expect people to behave in different situations. They are our ideas of what “normal” is. People who do not conform to stereotypes often face discrimination, hatred and violence. Living in a free and open society means that equality, humanity and integrity become important concepts that are everyone’s responsibility.

When you use norm criticism, you question and change “the way we have always done things”. Norm criticism is a tool you can use to analyse texts, images, and your usual routines. In this exhibition, the focus is on images since “they say more than a thousand words”. If you are curious about norms and want to think critically about them, we hope that Images that change the world will inspire you.

The exhibition is organised by the Swedish department the of the ZESS, the Equal Opportunity Team of the ZESS and the Administrative Coordinator of the ZESS with the support of the Swedish Institute in Stockholm and the Swedish Embassy in Berlin.

We would like to thank the participants of our vernissage with panel discussion, Tomas Gunnarsson, "Gender Photographer", Thomas Richter, Head of the University's Public Relations Department, Julius Matuschik, photographer and co-founder of Cameo Kollektiv e.V., as well as Till Hampe, Head of the AStA External Affairs Department for the interesting discussion and the great insights into the topic of inclusive communication.

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