Green Reconstruction, which recognizes that climate justice is unthinkable without racial justice, requires a public sphere where economic redistribution is openly discussed. Media networks, and the stories told there, are among the most important tools for rebuilding our collective imagination to conceive of justice in this way.
Public service announcements (PSAs) borrow private networks for the purposes of public pedagogy. In a related spirit, the Buell Center has created this campaign, which is available to share in whole or in part. Distributed through social media (Instagram | Twitter), local newspapers across the United States, and other outlets, these messages aim to provoke the kind of imaginative rethinking that Green Reconstruction will require.
Designed by MTWTF, the PSAs build on stock images from the Associated Press with potentially surprising readings. As a guide to systemic change, they seek to sharpen public perceptions of hidden-in-plain-sight crises that define contemporary society. In highlighting the intentionally weakened systems of care—housing, healthcare, and education—in everyday life, each of the PSAs prompt calls for reimagining these systems, and for their subsequent reconstruction.
The format of each component—one stock image of a commonplace scene during the COVID-19 pandemic, with troubling readings set in rotation and accompanying image descriptions—can be replicated by anyone interested. Please write to us for more information, share, and create your own. Like the world to which it aspires, Green Reconstruction is a collective project.
[Image Description: Orange barricades and covered faces punctuate an outdoor scene with grey residential architecture in the background and temporary shelter in the foreground.]
[Image Description: A flat-roofed, single-story structure is nestled closely against a brown embankment, allowing for the narrow passage of a seven-person HAZMAT-suited team, entering through what appears to be the building’s back door.]
[Image Description: An aerial view reveals a large area of pavement with evenly demarcated rectangles, drawn in white — twenty-one are visible. Inside each rectangle are different types, colors, and sizes of tent structures.]
[Image Description: Darkly shaded silhouettes—of masked medical professionals on the left, and of two reflective personal automobiles in a line on the right—contrast sharply against a bright exterior beyond. One professional holds a thin swab in one hand, which extends into the window of the front car, an SUV, where its end is invisible.]