The very title of Knight Chair in Visual Journalism and Professor of Professional Practice Alberto Cairo’s lecture tour, Visual Trumpery, is an example of its content. It’s designed to provoke ideological defenses, but the discussion is completely non-partisan.
Trumpery means worthless nonsense, something that is showy and deceitful at the same time, which can arise in text, verbally or visually.
Cairo observed misleading charts, graphs, and data maps designed by individuals and organizations from all over the political spectrum after the 2016 election. This led to his international lecture tour, crafted to equip listeners with “graphicacy,” Cairo’s term for visual literacy.
“The talk is political, but not partisan in the sense that I believe that good charts enable civic conversations about the common good. Ideally, democracy consists of a conversation between citizens,” explained Cairo. “That’s why the talk is political; after all, the word “politics” comes from “polis,” which means both “city” and a body of citizens who deliberate about challenges that affect them all.”
Cairo’s Visual Trumpery lecture tour has already been presented in cites across the U.S. and internationally including Barcelona, Atlanta, Chicago, and London.
Click here to watch Cairo’s Visual Trumpery lecture.