The Power of Storytelling in Humanizing Data
I participated in a Re3 hackathon over the weekend of October 5-6, 2013 and, after a hectic 48 hours, won the Humanizing Data Award for my work. I was one of the selected storytellers for the Re3 StoryHack which invites creative technologists to use storytelling to give voice to important social issues. My team and I worked on the issue of Gun Violence, nominated by activist Marlon Peterson who works with the at-risk population in the Crown Heights area. Our challenge was to design a prototype for a more emotionally resonant way to address the Gun Violence statistics that are usually represented so coldly in data visualizations.
My teammates and I worked hard from morning till late in the night over the weekend on a project we titled ‘Bulletpoints’ that turns the statistics of gun violence related homicides into stories that raise awareness for the trauma associated with gun violence both before and after the actual incident of firing. We started off with Freddie- a composite character based on life events from people who have actually experienced gun violence. We filmed vignettes for the different events in Freddie’s trauma-filled life to show that violence had become a norm- and we need to stop treating it as one. Our project plan includes distributing these videos as digitally consumable media through Instagram as well as pulling them together on a website to create the complex narratives of Freddie and his community members.
I conceived and directed many of the clips for the campaign and also appeared in a few!