2014-11-13

Lessons In Disrupting The Status Quo In Handy Visual Form

A new site takes the information from Beautiful Trouble, a guidebook to creative activism, and puts it in easily digestible visualizations to help prepare you for your next protest.

Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution is an anthology of creative activism that has animated movements like Occupy Wall Street and Reclaim the Streets. It includes dozens of examples of tactics (for example hoaxing), theories, principles, case studies, and practitioners. Basically: everything you wanted to know about protesting non-violently, but were afraid to ask your militant next-door neighbor.

The book was crowdfunded on Kickstarter and now, the creators have teamed up with a German visualization artist called Marian Dörk to further bring the content to life. You can see some of the visualizations here, or take in the full version here.

In the "context" view, by clicking on a module, you can see relationships with other ideas, as the visual brings "related elements into the centre and pushes less relevant elements towards the outside," as Dörk puts it. In "network," the relationships are shown with an array of lines. And then, in "article," you have a main text with a series of relevant links down the side.

Discussing the context view, Dörk adds:

Our hope is that seeing nodes gradually move inward and outward of the circle can help make sense of how modules relate to the collection, but that it could also aid a gradual navigation through a complex information space. By offering three different views on the same information (article, context, and network), viewers can reflect on the different perspectives and share feedback via the website.

Dörk says he was inspired by the "creative forms of activism towards social and environmental justice," and wondered how information graphics could help show connections between the modules in the book (principles, theories, tactics, and so on). The result is not only an easier way to navigate the book’s ideas, but also a way to take them in differently.

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