Competing Visual Representations of the Future in Times of Environmental Consciousness


Ridderstads stiftelse för historisk grafisk forskning

Project type



Since the end of the Sixties, the rise of environmental consciousness had a constantly growing impact over how societies imagined the future. The concern for Planet Earth and Mother Nature succeeded in mobilizing public and private actors against old instances of modernization. Rethinking the future was deemed necessary, but several were the instances which competed in the public space for showcasing a way forward – or for undermining the rivals’ endeavors.

The research project “Competing Visual Representations of the Future in Times of Environmental Consciousness” analyzes the visual representations of the future as historical sources for understanding competing instances of modernization of the past epochs. Focusing on the rise of the environmental consciousness in the Baltic space, the research analyzes advertisements, cartoons, and non-technical illustrations portraying still-to-be-realized infrastructural projects published in the Danish and Swedish printed media between 1970 and 2000.

The research project, run by Francesco Zavatti, Ph.D., and generously financed by Ridderstads stiftelsen för historisk grafisk forskning, has been carried out in 2021 and 2022 at the Institute of Contemporary History, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, Södertörn University.

The project has produced a research article, published after peer-review on the journal Diacronie. Studi di Storia Contemporanea (in English and in Open Access): External link, opens in new window.

Contact and info:

Research area / geographic area

Historical and Contemporary Studies History The Institute of Contemporary History Historical Studies Baltic Sea region and Eastern Europe Baltic

Project time

2021 — 2022


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