Analysis of Visual Rhetoric: The Earth Justice Site
The site under consideration is the Earth Justice, which is devoted to the problem of justice on the Earth. One of the main purposes of this site is to attract people’s attention to the major global problems and protect human rights. The site does not only inform people about the global issues, but also works for the benefit of the humankind by means of fighting for the rights in courts and in Congress. Having an intention to protect wild nature in its initial condition, the Earth Justice works hard in order to support human rights to the clean environment and reduction of climate change effects. Visual material along with short and argumentative statements attracts people’s attention. The pictures on the site change each two seconds showing overall four images, which are very expository and are supported by the statements. Visual information does not mean much until it has a strong and concise explanation, which calls for actions. Two images by Olson and Eisenfeld presented on the Earth Justice site are the examples of such issues.
Looking at one of the site photos made by Randy Olson and supported by calling statement, a person should feel the fresh mountain air which is unavailable for the majority of people living in the cities. The picture reminds people that clean air is a human right given them by nature and no one has a right to deprive them of it. Modern industries have created unfavorable conditions for the modern environment, and the purpose of the current picture is to show people what they deserve. By adding a statement, the website wants to inform the audience about the rights they have and convince them that the modern conditions and polluted air are not what people deserve and have a right to.
The photo is rather convincing and argumentative. The picture of the mountains with clear air and white clouds is taken not by chance. The mountains go far away and hide in the depth of the image. The ray of the sun lights the part of the painting, making it brighter and more colorful. The image as if shows people the way they can live, as even in the most civilized countries people do not usually see this beauty of nature. The number of cars and increased industrialization in the cities prevent people from viewing a clean sky. The bigger the city, the more clouds people have to overview. The photo wants to convince people that such a landscape can become a part of their life. Showing the mountains, the photographer wants to pay attention to the clearness of the air through which people can see river in the cavity, lines of the hills, and bends of the river. Observing the colors of the nature on the height, people may compare it to their city air and have a desire to smell the mountain air. The image is aimed at encouraging people to develop a desire to breathe this air.
The photo would not be that argumentative and strong without the line under it. “We all have a right for a healthy environment” is the words which add argumentation and strength to the image. The authors want to show that even living in the city and having no access to such picturesque views people still have a right to breathe clean air. The argumentation of the image is impossible without a strong statement and vice versa. The strength of the site is this felicitous combination of the statement and the image. No additional explanation is required, and the site guests feel the power to begin their fight for personal rights. The photo by Olson is not the only one aimed at calling people for action.
While Olson’s picture has a hidden appeal, Mike Eisenfeld’s photo is used to make a direct call. “Take an action” is exactly what the site wants to say in general, and the use of this visual and verbal statement helps the site activists to convince people that there is no time to wait and it is necessary to act. The photo without a statement is just a picturesque and perfectly shot image which can be admired. However, the statement adds the meaning to the photo. In this case, the photo speaks for itself having highlighted that the air is polluted by plants and factories. Without the signature the painting is rather telling and narrates the modern condition of environment pollution. People have to breathe the products of manufacturing, while modern governments do not give people any chance to choose. Thus, the people inhabiting the planet are forced to struggle for their natural rights.
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The colors of the photo influence the understanding of the author’s ideas. The evening reminds people of the fresh breeze they may feel in the evening, but are usually deprived of such an opportunity. The burning torch in the middle of the photo shows the reason why people in the city cannot breathe fresh air. The slightly seen smoke around the fire is exactly what people have to see. Pink sunset, shadow of trees and buildings in the horizon line, and gray sky are the elements of nature which stand behind the burning torch. Thus, showing the beauty of sunset, the photographer shows what prevents people from feeling it.
Despite the fact that the photo clearly demonstrates that environment pollution is the center of the discussion, the signature still adds more to the understanding of image and the purpose the author pursues. The main idea of the site is to make people take an action, to encourage them to fight for their personal rights. It is exactly what the site and the image want to say. Many people notice this problem, but do nothing in order to prevent it. People must take actions, strive for their rights in the courts, and fight for their freedom of choice.
Both images presented on the site make people think about their position in the world. They encourage people to understand their rights and take some actions on the way to clean air. Several statements presented on the site explain why people must struggle and why they should care, “Across America, industrial plants are blanketing schools, playgrounds and homes in a fog of pollution — even though cost-effective controls exist now. Our bodies should not be the dumping ground for dirty industries” (Advocacy Campaign). Thus, this is the main mission of the site: it wants to convince people to open their eyes, see the problem, and take actions to resolve it.
In conclusion, the images by Olson and Eisenfeld on the Earth Justice site cannot be considered simple photos with phrases. These are very provocative images with strong statements aimed at calling people for actions. Environment pollution remains one of the basic problems of the modern community despite the implementation of different innovative strategies. The problem will continue worsening if people do not understand the scope of the issues and their role in resolving it. The website under consideration supported by photos and statements is aimed at encouraging people to think and convincing them to make correct decisions.