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Watch the Birdie: Imagemaking and Wildlife Conservation

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Photography and the modern wildlife conservation movement became entwined soon after their shared emergence in the middle of the 19th century. This article analyzes how photography, film, video, and digital imaging have shaped the movement and continue to exert influence. Images often dictate our knowledge of animal species in the wild, but they can be deceptive, and they have hindered as well as helped conservation efforts. The profusion of wildlife conservation imagery and continued politicized debates over appropriate strategies make it important to investigate the conflicted alliance between mechanical reproduction and the conservation movement.
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Keywords: conservationism; digital imagery; endangered species; film; photography; wildlife

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Framingham State University

Publication date: 2012-02-02

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  • EME explores the relationships between media, technology, symbolic form, communication, consciousness, and culture. Its scope is interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Media ecology provides a rich philosophical, historical and practical context for studying our increasingly technological and mediated society and culture with an emphasis on historical context.
    Media ecology scholarship emphasizes a humanistic approach to understanding media, communication, and technology, with special emphasis on the ways in which we have been and continue to be shaped and influenced by our inventions and innovation. The Media ecology approach is predicated on understanding that media, symbols, and technologies play a leading role in human affairs, and function as largely invisible environments affecting the way we think, feel, act, and organize ourselves collectively.
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