Montage and Sustainability: Let’s Talk


Our first workshop in the second semester was a practical introduction to photomontage, which is “a combination of several photographs joined together for artistic effect or to show more of the subject than can be shown in a single photograph.” In this case, the subject at hand was sustainability. According to UNESCO, the modern definition of sustainability pushes the envelope to include ecology, economics, politics, and culture, as shown in the statement below:

“Sustainable development is a vision of development that encompasses populations, animal and plant species, ecosystems, natural resources and that integrates concerns such as the fight against poverty, gender equality, human rights, education for all, health, human security, intercultural dialogue, etc.”

For our in-class Photoshop montage assignment, I was inspired by the term “intercultural dialogue”- to the point where I took it almost literally. I wanted to depict the solution to cultural barriers by physically tearing them down. Intercultural discussions, and an in-depth look into one another’s diversified lives is the best way to achieve sustainability amongst cultures without creating conflicts of interest. I chose monuments and famous buildings from multi-cultural countries in order to achieve diversity, and after stripping away the backgrounds of each of them I decided to drop them randomly onto the globe in an act to break the barrier and create the “melting pot” effect of cultural diversity. “Let’s talk” was then added in the 3 different languages spoken by the home countries of the famous buildings simply to emphasize the overarching message of the image.


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