Making Sense of What We Can’t See: A Visual Retrospective of COVID-19


  • Annette N Markham RMIT University Melbourne



How do we make sense of the global and granular at the same time? This visual essay explores the relationship of the macro and micro through everyday practices of image making, cropping, and sharing. It asks whether new ways of knowing emerge or if perhaps patterns of sensemaking pre-exist, a psychological or social equivalent to fractals in nature. This becomes relevant when we consider that it is precisely within the mundane details of everyday actions of sensemaking that future structures are born. In wonders about how, in times of global trauma, might these micro practices reinforce or resist existing relations among humans, technologies, and the planet.

Author Biography

Annette N Markham, RMIT University Melbourne

Annette N. Markham is Professor at RMIT University and Co-Director of the Digital Ethnography Research Centre in Melbourne, Australia, and Professor (MSO, on leave) of Information Studies at Aarhus University, Denmark. She has a long history of studying identity practices in digitally saturated contexts and is an internationally recognized scholar of innovative and ethical practice in digital research and design. Her work focuses on facilitating more creative, adaptive, and ethical practice for social research by disrupting the vocabularies around method. She founded the Future Making Research Consortium and has facilitated dozens of arts-based experiments and seminars to build data and digital literacy through critical pedagogy. Her work can be found in multiple academic books and journals. More information and links to publications can be found at


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How to Cite

Markham, A. N. (2022). Making Sense of What We Can’t See: A Visual Retrospective of COVID-19. Imaginations: Journal of Cross-Cultural Image Studies, 12(2), 251–264.