Archive for 2018

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[ecrea] Digital history project "Proud & Torn: A Visual Memoir of Hungarian History"

Tue Jul 31 12:49:04 GMT 2018

*Groundbreaking Interactive History of Hungary Released*

Putting the turmoil of Hungary today in vivid context, an ambitious new digital history project, /Proud &Torn: A Visual Memoir of Hungarian History/, has been released at <><>.

As a “visual memoir,” /Proud & Torn/ tells the story of the ups and downs of a Hungarian peasant family over generations. The digital project features nearly a thousand images, many of which have never been publicly viewed before, alongside graphic maps and drawings, to make the complicated story of Hungarian and Eastern European history accessible to anyone, from children to adults.

“The project is inspired by picture books, graphic novels, and the latest developments in online animation,” said project director and creator Bettina Fabos, a professor of Interactive Digital Studies at the University of Northern Iowa. “We have layered many images into photomontages and made parts of photos move as a person scrolls through the project. The many images make history come alive, and the family photos of everyday people make this history feel real and approachable.”

/Proud & Torn/ features Fabos’ own Hungarian family’s photographs and stories about their lives. The project also includes stories and photos of other Hungarian citizens and historical figures.  To craft the timeline-based story, Fabos worked closely with two historians, Drs. Leslie Waters and Kristina Poznan, who helped construct the narrative over sixteen chapters, from 1848 to 1956. The history reveals the dramatic and often horrific events that led one family—like Hungary itself—to be irreparably torn: two world wars, the Holocaust, and more than a century of instability with competing regimes of autocracy, fascism, democracy, and communism.

“/Proud & Torn/ perfectly demonstrates how digital history has the power to introduce people to historical content that may have never been on their radar,” Waters explained. “Our work combines critical historical analysis and engaging storytelling so that readers can understand how real people are affected by larger historical processes. It also shines a light on an area of the world that is poorly understood but critically important to twenty-first century politics.”

The project got its start in 2013, when Fabos, Waters, and Poznan were all Fulbright scholars in Hungary. The project grew to include a production team of designer Dana Potter; three web developers, Collin Cahill, Jacob Espenscheid, and Connor Thorson; and animator Isaac Campbell.


Bettina Fabos, (Creator), Professor, Department of Communication Studies, University of Northern Iowa: (fabos /at/ <mailto:(fabos /at/> <mailto:(fabos /at/ <mailto:(fabos /at/>>

Leslie Waters, (Editor and Advisor), Assistant Professor, Randolph-Macon College: (lesliewaters /at/ <mailto:(lesliewaters /at/> <mailto:(lesliewaters /at/ <mailto:(lesliewaters /at/>>

Kristina Poznan (Editor and Advisor) Visiting Assistant Professor, La Salle University: (kepoznan /at/ <mailto:(kepoznan /at/> <mailto:(kepoznan /at/ <mailto:(kepoznan /at/>>


**Praise for /Proud & Torn/:*

The groundbreaking interactive website has received advanced praise from journalists, historians, archivists, and digital artists.

“With nearly 1,000 images included in the form of photographs, maps, illustrations, animations, and film clips as a part of a fascinating, innovative, and moving website, the necessarily personal and enriching story in /Proud & Torn/ should be a model for all who teach and work in the field of immersive storytelling. A startling achievement.”

- *Paul Lester, *Ph.D., School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, University of Texas-Dallas

“The digital interactive site, /Proud and Torn/, is an important and highly creative demonstration of the potentials of public digital archives.”

-* István Rév, *Ph.D., Director, Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives, Budapest, Hungary

“/Proud and Torn/ is an outstanding project that will change the way public historians produce histories in a digital environment.”

- *Leisl Carr Childers, *Ph.D., Department of History, Colorado State University

“I have used it in my courses on twentieth century East Central European history and plan on using it in my general modern European history survey courses. My students have also enthusiastically embraced the historical narrative in all its complexity and are invested in the lives and futures of the Fabos family.”

-* Emily Gioielli, *Ph.D., Book Review Editor, /East Central Europe/, Missouri Western State University

" is an incredible contribution to the field of Visual Communication, and more broadly to digital humanities...I was blown away by this work."

- *Ira Greenberg*, Professor and Director, Center of Creative Computation, Southern Methodist University, Dallas

“The /Proud & Torn/ website is an exquisite representation of public scholarship.”

-* Berkley Hudson*, Ph.D., University of Missouri School of Journalism

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