When using visual sources (such as posters, editorial cartoons or photographs) as a historian, it’s important to consider them in a structured and methodical way.
Firstly, you should consider and CAPTIONS AND CONTEXT that you have been given.
- When was it produced?
- Who produced it?
- What was going on at the time it was produced?
- What titles or captions does the source have?
Secondly, you should IDENTIFY the key characters and features in the source.
- Are there any significant people, objects, places or symbols you can identify?
- Does the image “reference” or parody other sources or familiar images?
- Does the source use any particular stereotypes or caricatures to make its point?
- How is the space of the source used by the artist? Does this carry any meaning?
Thirdly, you should consider any BIASES or particular perspectives the person who produced the source might have.
- Who created the source?
- Where was it published?
- Does the creator have a particular bias or perspective that may colour their work?
Finally, you should bring all of this together to consider the intended MESSAGE of the source. Remember many sources are not meant to be taken literally.
Have a go at interpreting and analysing these sources.
Now try Source 2: