Over the past year, AH PhD student Alise Tifentale has worked in a project team lead by Lev Manovich, Professor of Computer Science at the GC, to explore the role of social media photography in the world today.
The team’s latest study – “The Exceptional & The Everyday: 144 Hours in Kiev” – uses computational techniques and data visualizations to explore patterns in Instagram usage during the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution. While other researchers have already examined the use of Twitter and Facebook during recent social protests such as Arab Spring, this is the first study to focus on the visual medium of Instagram. The collected images depict not only confrontations between demonstrators and Ukrainian government forces, but also present everyday life in Kiev juxtaposed against the backdrop of an unfolding uprising and political revolution.
One of Alise’s contributions to the project was its Iconography section, which examines the themes and visual grammar of Ukrainian Instagram imagery. She’ll also co-present the team’s findings at the upcoming Big Humanities Data conference in Washington D.C.