Project description

To die of a stray bullet before even being born : how was it even imaginable? It is to give substance to this reality that the interactive multimedia project "Stray Bullets" was born.
Reaching a wide audience not keen on datavisualization or webdoc, by proposing nine testimonies, nine lives broken: it was therefore necessary to focus on people, stories, and put the statistics of "Fogo Cruzado", provided by Amnesty International in context.

What makes this project innovative?

The Stray Bullets project links cruel and cold data, shootings and killings in Rio de Janeiro with the victims they represent. Each victim or relative of the victim tells their story and the data extracted from the application Fogo Cruzado on his neighborhood show that each story is part of a real general phenomenon, quantifiable and localized.
This process of putting a human face on statistics is innovative because it requires creating a new narration. The AFP Data Team in Paris worked directly with the AFP office in Rio de Janeiro, which gradually sent the testimonials they were able to obtain.
This way of working also makes it possible to constantly confirm the chosen angle, because the testimonies and the statistics overlap.
It is possible to humanize statistics, and that is what we wanted to achieve in this project, in order to give this subject maximum impact.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

The project was published in four languages (French, English, Spanish and Portuguese), delivered to our clients in more than 10 countries, and broadcast directly via AFP accounts on social networks. We were able to measure its impact through consultation statistics in North America and Latin America. Also the fact that large national dailies asked us to distribute it confirmed interest in the subject.
It was important for us to disseminate this topic in Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, as well as abroad. Most visits to our content came from the United States, Brazil, Venezuela and France.
We also published a link to the project in an editorial file published on the agency’s wire.

Source and methodology

The data comes from the application Fogo Cruzado (http://fogocruzado.org.br/), created by Amnesty International, which allows inhabitants of Rio de Janeiro to identify firearm-related violence they have witnessed. The data do not differentiate civilians from traffickers. On the other hand, they are dated and localized very precisely, which allowed us to group them by district and thus to explore them geographically and temporally.
The photos, videos and texts were produced by AFP’s Rio bureau.

Technologies Used

The data has been analyzed via an internal visualization tool based on D3.js that gives us the opportunity to explore the relationships between different dimensions of a dataset.
Then graphic tests were prototyped with the NodeBox software and also QGIS for the map. From then on, the stage of realization of the models could begin on Adobe Illustrator. As always, the project was designed for mobile telephones first and then adapted for larger screens.
For the development, we used the Vue.js framework coupled with webpack to obtain a fast application, light and compatible with a majority of browsers. The graphics and the map were made thanks to D3.js and the video player, in HTML5, was augmented with custom scripts.
The data and translation elements are stored independently of the application and shared among all the collaborators. This architecture allows us, on one hand, to work in parallel between journalists and developers and, on the other hand, to guarantee an edition of almost instant content without redeployment.
And finally, the project has been deployed on a global cache server network to absorb traffic smoothly.

Project members

Texts: Carola Solé, Louis Genot, Sebastian Smith
Design: Fred Bourgeais
Development: Clément Procureur
Photography: Mauro Pimentel
Video: Marie Hospital, Florence Goisnard
Translation: Katherine Levy Spencer
Coordination: Pascale Trouillaud, Jorge Svartzman
Thanks to: Marimé Brunengo, Maud Butin, Muriel Pichon

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