Imagining Europe: A Social Media Gallery of Images About the EU

Clare Llewellyn and Laura Cram

As part of the Imagine Europe project, Clare Llewellyn and Laura Cram reflect on the initiative’s progress and the images which people have contributed to represent what they think of the European Union. They present the results of the project competition and call for additional images reflecting views on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Imagining Europe: A Social Media Gallery of Images About the EU
Home, Heritage, Free travel, Multilingual & Multicultural #myimageoftheEU, Alexia (@Sinethugcat) on Twitter

At NRLabs at the University of Edinburgh, we are investigating which images of the European Union predominate in popular imagination and how these images shift. In particular we wanted to see what the public view was in the lead-up to the UK’s EU referendum.

We have been asking members of the public to share their images of the EU on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using the hashtag #myimageoftheEU. The response to this call has been large and diverse – depicting various issues of interest across both the Leave and Remain camps.

Up to this point, we have received over 120 images. The content has varied from photographs and cartoons to quotes, videos and even a painting. We have had many pictures concerning travel and food. The images are available in our online gallery.

We also turned some of the images into a mobile gallery, which we displayed at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London. The project was also featured on the BBC’s Daily Politics show.

At the National Library of Scotland event, we asked the public to vote for their favourite image. These are the top three images.

Joint third place:

Second place:

First place:

At this point, we would like to thank everyone who has sent in their image. The support has been much appreciated! We would also like to ask you to keep sending us your images! We are very interested in reactions to the result of the EU referendum and the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

Our #ImagineEurope project is part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s The UK in a Changing Europe programme. Look out for our regular updates as the project tracks developments in the debate on the UK’s membership of the EU and follow us on Twitter @myimageoftheEU for more information on this and other projects.

Laura Cram is Senior Fellow, The UK in a Changing Europe, investigating The European Union in the Public Imagination: Maximising the Impact of Transdisciplinary Insights (ESRC/ES/N003985/1).

This article was originally published on the ImagineEurope Storify.

Clare LlewellynClare Llewellyn
University of Edinburgh

Clare Llewellyn is PhD Candidate in Informatics and Research Fellow in the Neuropolitics Research Lab at the University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on user-generated content on the Internet. Her research interests include social media, big data and text and data analytics.

Laura CramEdinburgh Europa Institute LogoLaura Cram
University of Edinburgh

Prof Laura Cram is Professor of European Politics at the University of Edinburgh; Senior Fellow, The UK in a Changing Europe; and Academic Editor of European Futures. Her research areas include European public policy, European identity and the neuropolitics of public policy and identity.

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