The piece of Multimedia I choose to Blog about is facingdeportation.org. It is a website dedicated to telling the stories of people directly impacted by the North Carolina immigration laws. They use a mix of video, text, and interactive data, to tell the story.
All together there are six sections to the website. Each section has, except the last, has a video with some pertinent text bellow the video.
The first section, or the homepage, is an into to the rest of the website. The text quickly describes why the website exists and gives some statistics. The video gives a quick overview of what the other videos will be. The only critique I had of this section is that at one point in the video someone is speaking in Spanish and there is no translation of what they are saying. Although, some would argue that this type of choice gives monolingual English speaking people a feel for what it is like to be a monolingual Spanish speaking immigrant.
The second section is called “A Father’s Sacrifice”. This portion of the piece follows a father who’s teenage son is in Immigration Enforcement Custody. We learn what the financial and emotional effects are on the father of this child.
In the third section the focus is on a 22 year old mother of three. Her husband is in custody and is facing deportation. We learn a little about how this is effecting her, and their three children. This piece is titled “Phone Calls From Papi”.
We here from the other side of the story in the fourth portion. An Immigration Enforcement Officer is interviewed for the “Why We Do This” piece. We have the opportunity to hear the reason’s why this particular officer believes it is important to detain and deport people.
“Living Between Borders” is the fifth section, and final video. In this one we hear from an undocumented mother who has lived in the U.S. most of her life. She has young child, because of the ways in which the laws work, if she is deported her child would likely stay in the U.S. without her.
The final section is an interactive area for people to see on a national, local and personal level how the laws effect undocumented people and their communities. The section is titled “Causes and Process”. By clicking and maneuvering through different parts of the section we can take visual inventory of the situation at hand.
The first part of this section is a map of the growing immigration population the U.S., we are able to see the growth over the last 20 years. The second is a map of the different laws in different counties in N.C., and how many people have been effected by those laws. Third we see a detailed time line of what detention and deportation entails for a person detained by Immigration Enforcement.
One of the things that struck me as important was that the website is available in English or Spanish. A necessary factor in making it accessible to the people most directly effected by immigration policy.
I only had two minor problems with the work. The text in the videos was a problem a few times. Their is text laced throughout the videos. Most of it might have benefited from being narrated as opposed to written. At one point in “Living Between Borders” we are given text to read while audio is going. It is hard to read and listen, while actually absorbing the content.
The second problem I had was the music in the background. It was clearly meant to set a tone. In the videos of people who are undocumented or have family who is undocumented the music is sad, meant to evoke sympathy. In the video if the Immigration Officer the music is very different, clearly trying to evoke a different emotion.
In my opinion, let the stories tell themselves. The people’s situations and descriptions of their lives are enough to evoke emotion. The music isn’t necessary.
Over all I thought the piece worked well. The mix of different types of media kept me engaged. The B-roll and stills throughout the videos where all relevant to the audio. Most of all the piece had multiple views on the subject, so that the reader/viewer can decide themselves where they stand on the N.C. Immigration laws issue.