Images are part of the communication strategies of both the hegemonic powers and political activism. Images have recently been the focus of studies on social movements, highlighting the importance of visual activism in social media.
However, the relationship between these visual narratives and mythological structures and how they operate to mobilise social change has not been significantly explored. This study analyses the role of environmental activism memes on social media and how, in anthropological terms, they can be understood as myths or narratives that offer a model for perceiving, understanding, judging and acting in the world.
We draw from ongoing research into eco-influencers on Instagram, taking environmental memes characterised by binary oppositions as our study subject. This contrast establishes a temporal narrative and future envisioning, involving a cause-and-effect relationship and a moral judgement of our actions.
We argue that, in the case of the environmental meme, the myth-based approach helps in understanding its role in articulating the cosmic, social and embodied-personal orders as it brings human action into harmony with the cosmic order while projecting its images onto the human experience.
Ardèvol, E., Martorell, S., & San-Cornelio, G. (2021). Myths in visual environmental activism narratives on Instagram. [El mito en las narrativas visuales del activismo medioambiental en Instagram]. Comunicar, 68. https://doi.org/10.3916/C68-2021-05