ANCIENT IMAGES, MODERN EYES:
THE CLASSICAL WORLD IN MODERN MEDIA & ADVERTISING
Wednesday, 6th March 2019
The University of Warwick - Westwood Campus
Attendance - Free of Charge
An exciting day of interactive workshops, discussions and activities on the theme of Classical Antiquity as it appears in modern media and advertising
Beginning with the Renaissance and happening as recently as Ariana Grande’s video for the hit song God is a Woman, the ancient – and most often the Classical – world has been a constant source of inspiration for the visual media we create. Whether we reference it allusively or borrow from it directly, the Classical World has never gone out of fashion when it comes to art, advertising and design – and shows no sign of doing so.
Why does modernity seemingly have such an obsession with all things ancient and mythical? In what ways has classical imagery been used to be persuasive, beautiful, aspirational or evocative? How might our continued reliance on this imagery serve to enshrine negative or derogatory ideas concerning race, gender and aesthetics?
Over the course of this event, we will explore:
- a variety of media which has utilised imagery from, or reminiscent of, the ancient world and the purpose or intentions behind the usage of such imagery;
- what the modern use of images designed to look ancient or classical says about our relationship with our ancient past;
- the ways in which images and ideas from classical antiquity are in fact reconfigured or manipulated – both consciously and unconsciously – for modern media purposes, and the effect this has on our perception/understanding of classical antiquity itself;
- the ways in which the depiction of classical antiquity participates in wider issues surrounding the portrayal of race and ethnicity;
- the part the depiction of classical antiquity in media and advertising has played in both establishing and reinforcing long-held ideas concerning gender and sexuality;
- the ways in which evoking classical antiquity has been used as a tool for sexualisation and to reinforce certain aesthetic/bodily ideals;
- the ways in which, in recent years, classical antiquity has in fact been increasingly invoked in order to repurpose/reclaim imagery which previously signalled the disenfranchisement of certain groups, or to spotlight issues concerning social diversity and thus provoke conversation as to how to better achieve diverse representation in modern visual culture;
- the very benefit of looking at both the ancient world and modern media through this lens.
This event will involve a series of interactive talks and activities on numerous themes pertaining to the depiction of the ancient world in modern media – including issues of diversity, gender expectations and beauty ideals - hosted by researchers from Department of Classics and Ancient History at Warwick University, culminating in participants designing their own advertising campaign inspired by an aspect of ancient society. The day will get young people engaging with Classics and Ancient History in a way that is purposeful and feels strongly relevant to them – not just as students, but also as consumers of modern media.