The Observing the 1980s OER has been used extensively in a course taught here at Sussex called; ‘1984: Thatcher’s Britain’. Brandon Perree, one of the students on the course, was inspired by the inforgraphics created as part of the Observing the 1980s project. So much so, that he has created his own inforgraphic about the Greenham Common peace camp and responded to our questions about his work:
How did you do the infographic?
The graphic itself was a simple photoshop job but the content was a distilled version of what I had learned throughout my time studying Greenham. While I left myself a bit limited for space I felt it was perhaps most important to give so sort feeling of what Greenham ‘was’. By that I mean that while the government and the CND debate was based on statistics and cold facts Greenham was created on feeling; I didn’t want the infographic to spew statistics, it had to tell a story; the story of the women of the camp.
How did the infographic help your use evidence?
The infographic I made can be easily split into four distinct areas of evidence which I hoped would tell the story, not the statistics of Greenham. The first is obviously the timeline; the timeline helped to get some perspective of what the women of the camp were doing and also the unique ways they were doing it. It could definitely be argued that Greenham was the start of a new era of nonviolence and the actions they used were the main part of that. The second distinct area was the story, and what better way to tell a story than in a newspaper. While I had hoped to make it longer space limitations kept the story of Greenham v Reagan to only a paragraph but it is hoped that doesn’t detract too much from its impact. Third is opinion, or primary evidence; what were the people there saying. The heart of Greenham was in how well it showed a contrast, men v women, nonviolence v war, change v stability. By showing why the women of the camp used nonviolence some insight was offered into the mind-set that the women of the camp had. Finally we come to statistics, and no matter how much you want to avoid the numbers sometimes the best way to show someone just what happened is to use cold hard facts. From that we have the four different types of evidence; the overview or timeline, the story as told by history, the primary evidence or insight, and the facts. So how did the inforgraphic help my use of evidence? I think it allowed me to truly sever the idea that the only evidence that matter is the facts, because in reality without all the component parts you haven’t really told the story.