Approaching Peace Visually: Global Imaginaries and Narratives of Everyday Peacebuilding

  • Tommaso DuranteEmail author


This chapter offers an empirical and conceptual discussion on the relationship between the growing global consciousnesses of the world as a whole—the global imaginary—and the emergence of visual-discursive narratives of “positive peacebuilding” in defined socio-historical urban contexts across the globe. In identifying a new class of images categorized as “visual ideological markers of peacebuilding”, the author focuses on the ways in which these new figures of knowledge, through their symbolic power, contribute to more inclusive, peaceful and just societies, under present conditions of globalization. “Approaching Peace Visually” concludes with two case studies carried out through the lenses of sociopolitical theory.


  1. Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  2. Appadurai, J. (2005). Modernity at Large. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  3. Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). (2012). Marriage Equality in a Changing World: Position Paper on Marriage Equality. Retrieved from:
  4. Australian Marriage Equality and Australians for Equality. (2016). “Marriage equality in a Changing world: Position paper on Marriage equality”. Retrieved from:
  5. Barash, D. P. (2018). Human Rights. In D. P. Barash (Ed.), Approaches to Peace (pp. 161–209). New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Berger, P. L., & Luckman, T. (1966). The Social Construction of Reality. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  7. Burke, P. (2001). Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Carlsson, C. (2002). Critical Mass: Bicycling’s Defiant Celebration. Oakland, CA: AK Press.Google Scholar
  9. Clements, K. P. (2018). Politics of Compassion in an Age of Ruthless Power. Global-E Journal, 11(2). Retrieved from:
  10. Collier, J. (1986). Visual Anthropology: Photography as a Research Method. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.Google Scholar
  11. Darian-Smith, E., & McCarthy, P. (2017). A Global Theoretical Framework. In E. Darian-Smith & P. McCarthy (Eds.), The Global Turn: Theories, Research Designs, and Methods for Global Studies (pp. 55–75). Oakland, CA: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  12. de Heredia, M. I. (2017). Everyday Resistance, Peacebuilding and State-Making: Insights from “Africa’s World War”. Manchester, UK: Manchester United Press.Google Scholar
  13. Dorn, P. (1998). Pedaling to Save the City: The Quarterly. San Francisco: San Francisco Urban Institute.Google Scholar
  14. Durante, T. (2007). The Visual Archive Project of the Global Imaginary. Retrieved from:
  15. Durante, T. (2013). The Symbolic Construction of the Global Imaginary in Sydney and Melbourne (PhD dissertation). Melbourne, VIC: RMIT University.Google Scholar
  16. Durante, T. (2015). On the Global Imaginary: Visualizing and Interpreting Aesthetics of Global Change in Melbourne, Australia and Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The Global Studies Journal, 8(4), 19–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Durante, T. (2016). On the Global Image: Globalisation as Visual-Ideological Phenomenon. In J. C. H. Lee (Ed.), Narratives of Globalisation: Reflections on the Global Condition (pp. 51–62). London and New York: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  18. Durante, T. (2017). A Visual Ideology of Globalization? Global-E Journal, 10(4). Retrieved from:
  19. Durante, T. (2018). Visual Ideology and Social Imaginary: A New Approach to the Aesthetics of Globalization. Space and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, 9(1), 15–34.Google Scholar
  20. Equality Campaign. (2016, November 17). National Forum on Faith and Civil Marriage Equality. Yes Equality. Retrieved from:
  21. Freedberg, D. (1989). The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Freud, S. (1935). Why War? In Civilisation, War and Death: Selections from Three Works by Sigmund Freud. London: Hogarth.Google Scholar
  23. Fry, D. P. (2018). Life Without War? In D. P. Barash (Ed.), Approaches to Peace (pp. 127–138). New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Giddens, A. (1990). The Consequences of Modernity. Stanford, US: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Gombrich, E. H. (1994). Symbolic Images (Studies in the Art of the Renaissance). London: Phaidon.Google Scholar
  26. Hall, S. (2009). Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices. London: The Open University and Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Institute for Economics and Peace. (2017, December 28). Positive Peace Report 2017: Tracking Peace Transitions Through a Systems Thinking Approach. Retrieved from:
  28. Ivy, M. (1995). Discourses of the Vanishing: Modernity, Phantasm, Japan. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. King, M. L. Jr. (2007). When Peace Becomes Obnoxious. In C. Clayborne, T. Jackson, G. L. Smith, S. Englander, & S. Carson (Eds.), The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Volume VI: Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948–March 1963 (pp. 258–259). Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  30. Krassner, P. (1997, August 24). You Can’t Get a Permit for the Revolution. San Francisco Examiner, D5.Google Scholar
  31. Lederach, J. P. (2005). The Moral Imagination: The Art and Soul of Building Peace. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Markus, G. (1994). Technoscientific Imaginaries. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  33. Mitchell, D. (2003). The Right to the City: Social Justice and the Fight for Public Space. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  34. Mitchell, W. J. T. (1986). Iconology: Image, Text, Ideology. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  35. Mitchell, W. J. T. (2002). Showing Seeing: A Critique of Visual Culture. Journal of Visual Culture, 1(2): 165–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mitchell, W. J. T. (2005). What Do Pictures Want? Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  37. Möller, F. (2013). Visual Peace: Images, Spectatorship, and the Politics of Violence. Basingstoke, UK and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Nye, J. S. (2004). Soft Power: The Means to Success in World Politics. Cambridge, MA: Perseus Books Group.Google Scholar
  39. Panofsky, E. (1962). Studies in Iconology: Humanistic Themes in the Art of Renaissance. New York: Harper Torchbooks.Google Scholar
  40. Pauwels, L. (2015). The Visual Researcher as Producer, Facilitator and communicator. In Reframing Visual Social Science: Towards a More Visual Sociology and Anthropology (pp. 95–190). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Robertson, R. (1992). Globalization: Social Theory and Global Culture. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  42. Sassen, S. (2010). The Participation of States and Citizens in Global Governance. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies, 10(5), 5–28.Google Scholar
  43. Sen, A. (2018). How to Judge Globalism. In D. P. Barash (Ed.), Approaches to Peace (pp. 175–181). New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Sewell, W. (2005). Logics of History: Social Theory and Social Transformation. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Simons, J. (2012). Peace Now or Never? Images of Peace in Israel. In S. Gibson & S. Mollan (Eds.), Representations of Peace and Conflict (pp. 23–44). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Steger, M. B. (2008). The Rise of the Global Imaginary: Political Ideologies from the French Revolution to the Global War on Terror. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Steger, M. B. (2009). Globalisms: The Great Ideological Struggle of the Twenty-first Century. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  48. Taylor, C. (2007). The Modern Social Imaginary. Durham: Duke University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Thompson, J. B. (1984). Studies in the Theory of Ideology. Berkley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  50. United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office (UNPSO). (2010). Definitions and Concepts. Peacebuilding Orientation Brochure. Retrieved from:
  51. Warburg, A. (1999). The Renewal of Pagan Antiquity: Contributions to the Cultural History of the European Renaissance. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute for the History of Art and the Humanities.Google Scholar
  52. Williams, P. (2014). Everyday Peace? Politics, Citizenship and Muslim Lives in India. Southern Gate: Wiley Blackwell.Google Scholar
  53. Wolff, J. (2012). After Cultural Theory: The Power of Images, the Lure of Immediacy. Journal of Visual Culture, 11(1), 13–19. Retrieved from: Scholar
  54. Zomcheck, P. (1986, June 26). Rainbow Flag. Bay Area Report. Retrieved from:

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Royal Melbourne Institute of TechnologyMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations