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visual communication practice

What do we know about the Andean quinoa industry?


Description of idea

Describe your idea and concept of your work in relation to the festival outlines:

The festival outlines ask whether visual communication can shed some light and reveal hidden power structures behind food. I believe that it can. After conducting my research into the Andean quinoa industry, I believe it can be argued that the media is a part of these power structures, and that visual communication has a role in uncovering this.

The media provides information to us which, whilst often informative, influences how we see food industries, and is often imbued with an agenda. My A3 multilayered poster is an attempt to address the influence of the media in our perceptions of a particular food industry (the Andean quinoa industry) and food democracy.

The poster commences with a page asking the question ‘What do we know about the Andean quinoa industry?’. It then provides the viewer with 8 different (often conflicting) paraphrased quotes from the media on separate pages, to show various points of view and agendas that have been advocated. The last page states to the viewer, ‘You should probably be reading up on this yourself.’

The poster is joined by split pins and has 10 pages with a line of perforation on each page except the last. The viewer tears across the perforation on each page to reveal the next page. The result is a haphazard-looking torn poster - a metaphor for the confusion created by the differing media reports.

The poster aims to encourage its audience to have a sense of skepticism about what they might read in the media, and to find out as much as possible before developing a perspective on the issue.

What kind of communication approach do you use?

The approach to the communication is inquiring, questioning and empowering to its viewer. The poster raises questions as opposed to preaching a point of view about the quinoa industry. It has a fairly neutral tone - it presents the paraphrased quotes, but does not make a statement about them, merely using their arrangement within the poster to allow the viewer to see contradictions. The poster intends to empower the viewer into maintaining skepticism and gaining their own knowledge.

I chose the medium of the poster for the simplicity, sense of impact and authority that I feel posters have. However, I have subverted this through creating a poster which questions and reveals many layers of somewhat confusing information.

What are in your opinion concrete benefits to the society because of your communication?

In my opinion, my poster benefits society:
a) By encouraging discussion and highlighting the multifaceted nature of food democracy issues such as this one.
b) By encouraging the individual to have a healthy sense of skepticism towards what they read and hear.
c) By encouraging the individual to increase their awareness about issues such as this through doing their own research and developing a broader perspective.

What did you personally learn from creating your submitted work?

Personally, I truly learned the extent to which you cannot necessarily trust what you read, watch or hear from the media. I had always maintained a bit of skepticism about the information provided by media sources. However, the media reports on the Andean quinoa industry that I found in my research differed so much in perspective that they were often contradictory and this was very overt.

Furthermore, after seeing so many differing media reports, I began to consider the influence of power structures and agendas related to food on what I was reading - particularly when the author seemed to have a very strong point of view on the issue.

Why is your work, GOOD communication WORK?

My work is good communication work for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is considered, both conceptually and aesthetically. The concept evolved from the synthesis of a lot of research into the Andean quinoa industry. I also intentionally made every element of the posters have some form of metaphorical or conceptual meaning. For example, I selected the colour palette based on those I had seen in photographs of quinoa fields and Peruvian and Bolivian fabrics. The patterns on the poster are also inspired by those from Peruvian and Bolivian fabrics. The colours on the front and last page are a direct reference to those of quinoa seeds. The use of dots to create the patterns is a metaphor for the round quinoa seed. I selected a font that mirrored this roundness. The textured paper stock works effectively with the pattern. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, the tearing of the poster that the viewer undertakes results in a haphazard-looking, confusing poster, to mirror the lack of consensus in media reports.

Secondly, my poster is good communication work because it does not preach to viewers, but reveals information in an engaging way. It encourages them to think for themselves and thus empowers them in a positive manner.

Where and how do you intent do implement your work?

The work is a conceptual, interactive poster that is intended to be installed on a wall in a conceptual art exhibition. It is intended for one individual viewer to go through the entire process of reading and tearing the poster from start to finish. The poster is simple to print and construct and thus a large quantity could be produced. I constructed the poster in a relatively small A3 size, to allow for more of a sense of intimacy with the individual viewer.

Did your intervention had an effect on other Media. If yes, describe the effect? (Has other media reported on it- how? Were you able to change other media with your work- how?)

I am sorry but I do not follow this question. If it is asking whether I have had media coverage on my intervention, then no, I have not.


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Entry details


What do we know about the Andean quinoa industry?


A multilayered poster about the quinoa industry, the media, and food democracy

Concept author(s)

Lucy Datyner

Concept author year(s) of birth


Concept author(s) contribution

Created entire project - researched, developed, designed, wrote copy, produced.



Competition category

visual communication practice

Competition subcategory


Competition field


Competition subfield


Subfield description

University of Technology, Sydney