Disaster Research + Graphic Narratives

Blog post and images by Madelaine Jane Dow

Humanitarian Researcher/ MA Information Experience Design Student (Year 1)

Within the humanitarian sector, the main aim is to gain empathy for people in post-disaster situations and to get them to react to the information they are given. There are many layers as to what is shown in relation to the politics, ethics etc. However, the role of the artist is becoming more predominant within this position. Building the future.jpg

Building the Future

Artists and designers have always been taught to question the boundaries within a brief, as well as look at the questions that surround it. As a result there is much potential to capture these skills of creatives within humanatarian contexts. Specifically, artists and designers are able to make works that  are moments of reflection or absorption. This may be in the form of a book, film, artwork etc, but the main factor within this is the spatial parameters. This spatial experience provides an embedded phenomenology as to the actions and reactions people should have within the space. As well as, the information being shared here another example is to consider the difference in art works contained in the Tate Modern and within St Paul’s Cathedral. We know the kind of provocative works that will be displayed In the Tate Modern will be far more conceptual than those within St Paul’s Cathedral; Yet both experiences leave us susceptible to certain types of emotions and experiences.

The use of visual narrative is commonly understood to be a strong connecting factor between the ‘victim’ and the ‘observer’. Therefore, the role of the visual narrative  can be used to grasp people’s attention beyond victimhood which is the common narrative in  mass media. When the viewer is given the opportunity to see the single individual people’s stories, the moments and the familiar interactions, a relationship can be formed through the development of the narrative before the ‘observers’ eyes.

cracked-through

Cracked Through

The role of the creative is being given more recognition than the current forms of humanitarian information. There is always a level of criticism that follows the ethics and politics. However, the role of the designer is to push this, and this is our advantage that must be taken. Tunnel vision.4.jpgTunnel Vision

Peep Sketch.jpgPeep Sketch

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