The UNESCO Chair on Visual Anticipation and Futures Literacy towards Visual Literacy is established at the Open University of Cyprus

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The UNESCO Chair on “Visual Anticipation and Futures Literacy towards Visual Literacy” was officially established at the Open University of Cyprus (OUC) in July 2022. Chairholder is the Associate Professor Vicky (Vayia) Karaiskou. OUC joins UNESCO’s prestigious universities network, and the award of this unique Chair through a competitive call builds on the work of Dr. Karaiskou on Visual Literacy. With an aim to enhance individual empowerment and support societal inclusion, transcultural empathy and solidarity the UNESCO Chair focuses on mastering the tools to comprehend the subtexts behind cultural visuals. Its research work will focus on the investigation and questioning of how cultural visuals mould our thought patterns and determine our relations with the past, the ways we experience it in the present and carry it in the future. It will, as well, develop and provide tools for emancipated and critical visual thinking and acting.

Main objective of the Chair is to run Visual Literacy workshops based on the Futures Literacy methodology, and design tools that will enhance and expand the impact of the workshops. The Chair will introduce the Visual Literacy methodology and tools to researchers at a variety of fields enhancing the impact of their work; to students of secondary and higher education; to active citizens; as well as to educators of all levels, enriching teaching methods and fostering the impact of their work. The Chair is committed to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which calls all countries, institutions and individuals to act urgently towards enhancing resilience for the sake of a peaceful and prosperous present and future.

The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme was launched in 1992 intending to promote international inter-university cooperation and networking, and advance knowledge in key priority areas such as education, the natural and social sciences, culture and communication. The UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks conduct innovative research that addresses pressing challenges and contributes to the development of our societies; they establish new teaching initiatives; and promote cultural diversity and coexistence.

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