Tale of Two Adams
This project is a narrative data visualization exploring the relationship between homelessness and health in Canada, by focusing on mortality rates. Its aim is to generate empathy towards the homeless in Canada and improve understanding of their circumstances.
It combines data visualizations with a personal graphic narrative, thus conveying both population-level and individual-level stories. The individual narrative follows the lives of two characters, Adam A and Adam B, who are very similar but for one main difference. Adam B is homeless and Adam A is housed.
I chose this topic because I wanted to develop something in the field of data visualization, and I also wanted to challenge myself to work outside my comfort zone. It was also important to me to focus on a topic that I cared about.
The development process began with researching the topic and similar media objects. Some of the projects that influenced me most were The Fallen of World War II, by Neil Halloran, At Home/Chez Soi, by the National Film Board of Canada, and The Land of the Magic Flute, by Interactive Media Foundation.
I initially envisioned a project that described the relationship between homelessness and health purely through population-level data visualizations - something like animated charts and graphs. However, I found that much of the data I was working with was qualitative, rather than quantitative, and so the project shifted to incorporate an individual narrative intertwined with the data visualizations, which also seemed a more effective method of encouraging an empathetic reception.
The final project can be viewed here