Communicating Beyond Language

Headlines this week in public diplomacy news explored the power of visual storytelling to connect global publics and disseminate information around the world. The United Nations hired a graphic designer to visually communicate its 17 sustainable development goals through “universally understood iconography” to the more than 750 million people around the world who cannot read or write, while photographers in Australia and Greece have documented the human cost of the Syrian refugee crisis, capturing the “violence, despair and helplessness….of terrified and beleaguered people trying to cross the borders” in search of a better life. Meanwhile, an artist in South Africa is translating “themes of migration, urbanization, identity…and the transition from childhood to adulthood” through his portraits of local children, and in Canada, a newspaper cleaning out its achieves has stumbled upon a trove of photographs of the now famous 1971 “ping pong diplomacy” tournament between China and the U.S.


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Photo by Thomas Hawk | CC BY-NC 2.0


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