To bring attention to the huge death toll in Syria for an international and somewhat jaded audience the VDC team wanted to humanise their huge dataset of Syrian victims through the introduction of one young boy’s shocking story. They picked Hamza Al- Khateeb’s, a 13-year-old boy who was detained, tortured and killed by the authorities in 2011 after attending a demonstration with his parents, and whose death sparked protests across the country.
To explain to their audience that Hamza was not that different from other Syrian victims who opposed the regime or ISIS, they framed the story in the context of the “price of standing up for your rights”, asking the audience a question to lure them into the story which animates and prompts the user to click on “find out why”.
Use of photography
Once the user decides to find out more they are given an introduction screen about Hamza’s story. The team here introduced full-sized photography, something that is used throughout the project.
Micro and macro narratives
This leads to an animated video of the data visualisation which starts zoomed in on database entry of Hamza’s death and then zooms out to reveal that his entry is just one of more than 120,000 people killed in the conflict and whose story is documented in the VDC database.
1 pixel = 1 human life
Every pixel in the interactive data visualisation represents a person killed in the war. Users will be able to access each person’s story through the interactive data visualisation and explore VDCs database using various filters.
In addition the the data visualisation of the database, the VDC team also created About Us, Donate, and Help us pages which allows users to find out more about VDCs work and how to assist them in their work.