We believe in making video that puts the voices of our protagonists first, whether this is a world-famous musician in London, or a transgender activist in India. We specialise in using animation and graphics to tell first person stories from people who can’t be identified for security or safety reasons, but whose stories need to be heard.
We worked on this project with Caribou Digital for the Omidyar Network. The Identities Project was based on fieldwork conducted by the Caribou research team in India, and we used the research output to shape a series of videos for seven different episodes about identity.
Given that identity in India is a political issue (amongst other things, India is implementing the world’s largest biometric identity project, Aadhaar), there were sensitivities around showing people’s faces in videos. So we relied on photos of interviewees’ local environments, combined with audio. The results were unusual, yet compelling.
We used the Identities Project as the jumping-off point for a new, more wide-ranging series about identity, called The ID Question, published on How We Get To Next. As part of this editorial series, we used some of the stories unearthed in the original Identities Project to create two-minute animated videos that summarised the depth and urgency of the issues faced.
The first video was based on real experiences of transgender people in India, the second showcased a housewife from rural Assam in Northeast India who is forced out of her comfort zone when she interacts with a male bank agent, and the third was about a blind man whose life is actually made more complicated if he wants to continue to receive the state benefits he is entitled to.
We used animation because we were telling composite stories, and the format enabled us to convey a lot of information in very little time in an engaging manner.
For Storythings-produced publication How We Get To Next, which was originally launched to supplement author Steven Johnson’s book and PBS TV show How We Got To Now, we produced a series of videos where musician Brian Eno spoke to author Steven Johnson about his theories of art, music and creativity.