About the project

PolarVis studies how, why and with what consequences networked visual persuasion becomes a mechanism of integration and polarisation in digitally saturated societies.

Images feed into a powerful form of political communication that forges affective and political (dis)connection with transnational resonance. Political actors have long used visual repertoires to frame issues, mobilise support, and build (or undermine) legitimacy. In this time of high mediatisation and growing turmoil, citizens, journalists, and platforms play a part by also generating, modifying, and amplifying the repertoires. It is under these conditions that our narratives about ourselves, others, and the key issues facing our societies now play out. Until recently, however, it has not been possible to get analytical traction on networked visual persuasion at large scale.

  • The project studies networked visual persuasion in and around climate movements in Europe. The design focuses key junctures in the social and algorithmic negotiation around images to understand their role as content, their affective resonance, and the processes of connection and conflict that occur around them.

  • The project brings together a cross-disciplinary team of researchers in the social and computer sciences based at institutions across Europe. The team includes the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the IT University of Copenhagen, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Vienna, and Uppsala University.

Project PolarVis is supported under CHANSE ERA-NET Co-fund programme, which has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, under Grant Agreement no 101004509.