IMG 20200414 202044 705 819x1024 - Nigeria Lockdown: Iconography Analysis of Wola Thomas' Image

This post is not to cause any unnecessary incendiary but to showcase the work on the creative design of an illustrator/UI designer and to analyse using a qualitative research method and standpoint. To many, this image is just a graphic or optic representation of objects or a general perception, albeit it is divided into different categories namely: conventional, accumulative, analogical and sympathetic depending. However, this image is not just a graphical representation, it serves as a link to the past, to give accurate information and description of the present. It serves as reference points to historical facts that would not otherwise have been told or understood without a detailed understanding of the method of analysis of such an image. 

The Marotzki and Stoetzer’s model of image analysis


The analysis of the image will contribute to knowledge on the effect of the coronavirus pandemic lock-down and how it affects Nigerians. Marotzki and Stoetzer’s model will be used for the study image above, the model suggests four steps in the image analysis namely: Denotation, Connotation, Mise-en-scene, and Synthesis. 

3.3.1 Denotation

In the main image, it is easy to see an image of a map with a black curved on the map that makes the shape look like a padlock. And, on the background, there is a plain greyish color, A rectangular shape with some writing word on it which can be seen at the bottom right side. While on the left-hand side a design pattern showing the name of the designer and above the name on the same side is a two-round composition that has another rectangle on it that looks like a stamp. However, On the main image, there are engrave words on it with some lines and it can also be noted that there are different types of lettering with different fonts on the image with color ranging from white, black, red, grey and others. And the image has no frame.

3.3.2 Connotation

The image connate several things and it start with the map of Nigeria not showing the rivers that divide the country into three major ethnic groups and with a black with a small portion of red lock head which turn the map into a padlock representation and on the padlock head there is an engraved word that reads “MADE IN CHINA”. The lock head is turning red gradually from the black part or vice versa, which may signify the dangers that the thing that was made in china that could cause the lockdown. 

Likewise, on the locked map, this another engravement which reads “LockDown Pro Max” which connotes there was a lockdown before but the new one is a professional and maximum capability. Furthermore, in between the written word was a chainlike representation of the two letters O in the LOCK and DOWN. the chains can have different meaning historical chains means bondage, slavery, and colonization. Many research and writer has penned about how china is using several methods to recolonize Africa and other parts of the world through the use of technologies, migration, grants, and loans. There are two vertical lines draw at each side of the map, it may look insignificant or intentional by the designer, but mathematical such lines mean Euclidean norm. The Euclidean norm is a specific norm on a Euclidean vector space, that is strongly related to equal relationship, idea, space, length, and equal value. 

All the above connotation is put on a greyish background that means a grey environment in the country even before and during the lockdown. While on the right-hand side of locked Nigeria there is a label that has the same words as the engravement in the map with some the features of the lockdown pro max which include public unrest system and an optimized end to end the depression. Likewise, on the upper part image was a red stamp of quality that supposed to show guaranty with a bold 14 DAYS that is the number of days for the lockdown. However, making a deep look at a stamp it can be seen that the designer does not spell the word guaranty instead it is the word QUARRANTY which was actually what is happening in the country.

image 1 - Nigeria Lockdown: Iconography Analysis of Wola Thomas' Image

3.3.3 Mise-en-scene

The green color of the Map of Nigeria shows the land of abundant and tropical with a division between which was not the initial division of the country into different ethnic groups but a difference into three divisions. The sharpness of the image is very detailed and the relationship with the lock that is made in china. It is easy to see the idea that the designer is putting together and the understand of the present lockdown all over the world which is caused by a virus that starts spreading from Wuhan, China. The image lacks a title, but the title is in the concept.

 3.3.4 Synthesis 

The Lock-Down decision in Nigeria was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) which was first identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province and has since spread globally, Which has resulted in a pandemic that has killed up to 67,999 and confirmed infected 1,249,107 worldwide by 04- 04 2020 detailed statistics can be seen on this link by GOOGLE. COVID-19 symptom includes fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle pain, diarrhea, sore throat, loss of smell, loss of taste and sore throat.

This virus forced every country in the world to lock down their countries. However, the issues in Nigeria became different because it leads to Public unrest in which some part of Lagos and Ogun State are observing robbery and steal by hooligans and thugs and also this increase both Health and economic depression where people are forced to stay at home without any preparation and relief for the citizen. The Image also raises an economic idea that involves the Chinese government hold on the country and how they are using a different mechanism such as technology, grant, and loan. 

image - Nigeria Lockdown: Iconography Analysis of Wola Thomas' Image