|Jiao Chen,SBS Online
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To fully illuminate the history of a censorship state, storytellers must show at least two sides: the view from inside the state and outside its walls. SBS Australia has taken advantage of digital storytelling to unearth the kaleidoscopic perspectives surrounding the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
Communication Arts, Webpick of the week, 07/25/14.
June 4, 1989 saw the culmination of a series of events in Beijing, China that captivated the world’s attention through media that was disseminated around the globe. On the twenty-fifth anniversary of these events, SBS Online utilizes digital storytelling to highlight the depth of perspective surrounding the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
The site preserves the perspectives of the time, housing media from both China and the west, placing cultural assets side by side in a sophisticated interactive navigational mode. Creating statements drawn entirely from archive, ‘After 6/4’ offers the user deep engagement with these primary sources and with the language that shaped these events for generations to come.
In total, the project uses 63 articles, 37 images and 13 videos with content comprised of government reports, journalism, photography and personal documentaries of those whose lives were forever shaped by the events. The entire site is bilingual which allows for native speakers in either English or Mandarin to read primary documents without translation.
It includes a timeline of events that places the Chinese run state newspaper, People’s Daily and Xinhua news agency alongside media reports from western sources. It also enables in-language comments to be gathered from Australia, Hong Kong, Macau and Mainland China which continues to provide commentary about why we should remember the events twenty-five years on.