How does a revolution gets represented on Instagram? What can visual social media tell us about the experiences of people during social upheavals?
If we look at images of Kiev published by many global media outlets during the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, the whole city is reduced to what was taking place on its main square. On Instagram, it looks different. The images of clashes between protesters and the police and political slogans appear next to the images of the typical Instagram subjects. Most people continue their lives. The exceptional co-exists with the everyday.
But as we discovered after working with data, the two do not simply co-exist. Their relationships are more complex and more interesting. Visit the project to see our findings.
The Exceptional and the Everyday: 144 hours in Kiev continues previous work of our lab (Software Studies Initiative - softwarestudies.com) with visual social media:
phototrails.net (analysis and visualization of 2.3 Instagram photos in 14 global cities, 2013)
selfiecity.net (comparison between 3200 selfie photos shared in six cities, 2014; directed by Moritz Stefaner).
In the new project we focus on the content of images, as opposed to only their visual characteristics. We also explore non-visual data that accompanies the images: most frequent tags, the use of English, Ukrainian and Russian languages, dates and times when images their shared, and their geo-coordinates.
Project web site: