Iconographical Racism?

March 13, 2007

chinaOK, so I probably made up the first word in the title, but it struck me as I was using yet another Mao poster for a China post at 901am that using Mao may be unfair to China, a Iconographical Racism for lack of a better term.

What I’m trying to say in something closely resembling English is that in applying clich?ɬ©d imagery of a country, am I subliminaly being discriminatory? After all, as an Australian I find nothing more annoying than the Sydney (f*cking) Opera House and Kangaroos being used in a similar way in stories about Australia.

The question then becomes though is what imagery does one use when referencing China? after all, the Chinese Flag doesn’t exactly make for nice complementary eye candy. When I think of China I think of these things roughly in order:

1. Exports
However ships loading off the Pilbara and Kimberly (Western Australia) coasts doesn’t really tie in to China itself

2. Manufacturing
Consumer goods, WalMart etc… pictures of people in factories though aren’t China specific enough

3. Great Wall

4. People
Population stands out in relation to China, and yet crowds seems to be synonymous with Tokyo not Shanghai.

So how do you find a nice piece of clich?ɬ© free eye candy to compliment a post on China?

food for thought.

One response to Iconographical Racism?

  1. On the other hand, what symbol would you use when posting something about Australia? Opera House? Kangaroo? Footy? Foster, XXXX and VB? Uluru?

    I guess you really cannot iconise Australia into one single image (at least I can’t). So applies to China.

    I’ll say that Mao’s image is actually a pretty good attempt 🙂 Although the Chinese character printed underneath the image literally says “Congratulate to Chairman Mao who lives forever”, which is quite an irony describing someone who is already dead.