Are We Europe & Fomu Antwerpen, Rebel lives: photographs from inside the LRA
Turning a physical exhibition into a compelling digital experience.
A visual story about life inside the rebel movement: based on photographs taken by LRA commanders between 1994 and 2004, this project documents life within violent circumstances and depicts the rebels as they wanted to be seen among themselves and by the outside world. I was asked to help them design a digital translation of the exhibition.
Rebel Lives photos by George Senga
Are We Europe asked me to help them design a digital translation of the exhibition, Rebel Lives: Photographs from inside the Lord’s Resistance Army a research project from Georges Senga which at the time was being exhibited at Fomu Antwerpen. The LRA is a rebel group that operates in northern Uganda, South Sudan, and the Central African Republic. They are well-known for their use of extreme violence and its large-scale abductions of children, who were used by them as child soldiers or were forced to become their wives.
Rebel Lives photos composition design
"It was wonderful to witness how the complex and layered project Rebel Lives transformed into an online platform."
Rein Deslé, curator and editor FOMU Antwerpen
For the digital experience, it was important to choose the right visual style and to design the layered narrative in a way so that most people, without knowing the exhibition, would be able to grasp the essence of this compelling story. This all while making sure to treat this sensitive story with respect.
While translating the exhibition into a digital experience we made sure to use the same tone of voice as the exhibition. We did this by adopting the layout of the exhibition into the digital experience. First, you'll encounter the global story but while scrolling through you are confronted by portraits of the people who have been abducted by the LRA.
The individual sections are amplified by quotes, texts, and videos to sketch their personal experiences. The personal contemporary photographs by George Senga are full bleed to emphasize how their lives came to a standstill. Archive photos are shown smaller and are placed more dynamic. This all provides a dynamic and layered experience.