Remediating or Re-meditating (So I Don’t Lose My Mind With This Project)

For my repurposing project, I’m writing an open letter to shame war criminals of the Yugoslavian war for losing their humanity in an effort to build up their political status. remediation idea has changed slightly. (It was a double-timeline initially, the top half recounting personal stories from my family and the bottom half showing the political events surrounding the war that occurred at the same time).

There is this constant image in my head of a dark, reflective skyscraper huge enough that touches the clouds. At the very top, in a penthouse suite, a man in a suit sits with his team of people and signs a paper that will give an order for his army to invade/bomb/shoot/massacre x, y, or z. Then I imagine at the very bottom of this building, a city buried beneath rubble and rows of dead bodies in makeshift graves, soldiers shooting civilians, fire, explosions, etc. I just can’t wrap my brain around the fact the people who sign off on these wars or lead the armies are usually sitting comfortably nearby probably enjoying a five course meal. I keep thinking “Who let them (war criminals in the Yugoslavian war in my case) get away with killing so many people and ruining so many other lives?” “How can they just sit there and sign papers and give orders while at that same exact moment they have created someone’s last day on earth?” “These aren’t casualties they are real people with real stories and families and children and wives/husbands.”

With that being said, I think I really wanted to create an anti-war campaign poster that gets the above^ message across. I’m not sure what a “campaign” entails exactly beyond a brand and slogan and poster, but I’d like to make my poster digital and animated if possible. Here is what I envisioned initially and how the timeline comes into play:

The webpage opens with a heading and slogan like “We are Real,” for example. Underneath is a photo reel scrolling horizontally of images of the Yugoslavian war and family photos. Underneath that there are two timelines connected to each-other to make one all encompassing timeline. The top row of the timeline details personal events through text and quotes from interviewees, while the bottom row focuses on political facts, battles, conferences, significant events during the war from a broad perspective. If I was making a printable poster, these features would obviously have to be tweaked to not include animation. 

I realized I didn’t want to make a timeline by itself, but instead use a timeline-esque element to convey the idea of commanders being so far removed from what they are actually in charge of. Like let’s say Alija Izetbegović, former president of Bosnia, was meeting with whoever (this will be researched) to discuss invading the city of Bihać in June of 1994. Well June of 1994, my parents were sleeping under tractors in corn fields because they didn’t have a home anymore since Izetbegovic’s army invaded their city. I think my reasoning behind the timeline was that I can show side by side this cause and effect relationship between what the president decides and the traumatic effect it has on the people who actually experience his decisions. Putting these dates, facts, and pictures next to each other would also hopefully show the distance between those “in charge” and the real citizens. 

The reason I mention making an anti-war campaign, is because I don’t think the timeline itself will convey the entire message. I don’t think it will be clear that I’m criticizing the presidents and war lords of the Bosnia, Serbia, and Croatia because timelines are unbiased. They aren’t political attacks. 

In terms of layout, I was inspired by the amazing designs in articles published in the Boston Globe. I encourage everyone to check out their site because the way they incorporate animation is unreal. For example, this clearly has its own web design although its published through the newspaper. I envision this anti-war piece being something animated like the “Chasing Bayla” article. If this isn’t feasible though (and maybe there’s just no use for animation) just a regular poster works too.

I have a few major concerns: What I am I even talking about anymore (just kidding, kind of). First, what is my publishing platform? An online newspaper? Do I even need a publishing platform?  Personally, if I want this piece to say “fuck you” to the war criminals that impoverished my family and killed my relatives and thousands of other people’s families, I think it needs to act alone. 

Blah. That’s all. ROSER 2 (Chip)









One thought to “Remediating or Re-meditating (So I Don’t Lose My Mind With This Project)”

  1. Lorena,

    I feel where you’re coming from with your frustration and concern about your re-mediation project. It’s really hard to figure out how exactly to fit everything we want to say into a beautiful, cohesive piece of writing, but I think the fact that you have such a strong voice and perspective will help guide you through figuring out the layout and genre of your piece.

    I think it’s awesome that you’re considering making a sort of anti-war poster. I know that early on (before we even started the re-purposing project), you mentioned that you would like to do something about a puppet master using a sort of vertical layout, and it’s awesome that you’re revisiting that idea (because it’s a really powerful one). I’m also glad that you’re planning to keep the timeline in your piece, because I think the juxtaposition of political events and happenings in your family’s life is a really powerful way to make your argument (even if the timeline itself is unbiased, you can include information in it that supports your case).

    Maybe try playing around with a Wix page for your piece. I’m using that right now to finish up my re-purposing piece, and it allows for a lot of interesting ways to display information, which might be helpful to you. I suppose you could create a page and then imagine that it could appear in an online newspaper like the Boston Globe (perhaps alongside your open letter).

    You’re going to do something great! I can feel it.


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