I've been working on a paper about the war on obesity, using conflict analysis models to explore the war a bit, and thinking about the material reality of this metaphorical war. A little while back I wrote a piece about Foresight and their Obesity Maps, which I think are baloney (yeah, that's the official term). But clearly I am just as obsessed as they are in trying to create graphic interpretations of systems and processes.
Anyway, I wanted to share a conflict map I made and would welcome feedback and suggestions. The difference between my work and theirs is that I am able to recognise that there are critical voices in this system, and I don't base my analysis on the idea that fat people are fat because of problems with energy balance. Oh, and I haven't been funded millions of pounds of public money to produce this, which shows, of course, I did it in Word. I'm DIY all the way, baby!
The map shows people, organisations and entities that I think are central to the war on obesity. I've tried to draw the blobs in sizes relative to how I see their power. The stuff that I find myself critical of, as a fat activist, probably don't think of themselves as a unified entity, hence they are grouped within a dotted line. Other lines and arrows indicate relationships, which may or may not be mutual. Lightning bolts indicate a conflict, and these too are directional. The stuff in the bottom left-hand corner are 'shadow organisations', ie things that influence the war but are not chief antagonists. I've put media there because I think that the war on obesity is not their reason for existing, even though they enflame that war in profound ways. Also, hehehe, my word processor does not recognise Bariatric.
What have I missed? How could it be better laid-out? I tried to keep it to A4 but it's a bit of a crush and some of the edges got lost when I pdf-ed it. Any fat-friendly graphic designers in the house want to have a go at it? Tell me what you think. Also, is this an indication that I'm losing my marbles and should get out more often? Hey, don't cross the road, I'm talking to you!
The war on obesity, a conflict map by Charlotte Cooper, Oct 09 (.pdf, 40kb)