The Enemies of the State

Country/area: Finland

Organisation: Individual

Organisation size: Small

Publication date: 21/10/2021

Credit: Anastasiia Balagurova, Michael Rykov


Anastasiia Balagurova is an information designer based in Helsinki, Finland. Currently, she studies Visual Communications in Design at Aalto University and works in a digital agency Infografika. In this project, she did research, design, and coding.

Mikhail Rykov is a software engineer based in Helsinki, Finland. He has graduated from Samara State Aerospace University in Russia in 2010 and has been working in IT since 2007. In this project, he provided technical assistance and advice.

Project description:

The project Enemies of the State addresses the worsening and disturbing issue of political repressions in Russia. It explors different mechanisms of state aimed at human rights activists, newsrooms, independent journalists, and ordinary people whose views and beliefs are not aligned with the state agenda.

Impact reached:

Many people in Russia do not realize the scale of political repressions. State media channels are being silent, independent journalists are under pressure and, thus, limited in their activity. People are suffering from injustice. Every project that brings to light their stories is crucial for changing the situation.

Techniques/technologies used:

Data has been collected from different sources and cleansed in Google sheets. Then, data visualization was created with a help of the d3.js library. Explanatory texts and data visualization were compiled into one webpage using scrollama.js.

What was the hardest part of this project?

For me, it is the first project made from scratch, using web development tools for data visualization. Therefore, it was challenging regarding both skills and time constraints. 

What can others learn from this project?

This project is an example of explaining a complex issue step-by-step using a scrollytelling approach. It creates a strong connection between text and data to guide people’s understanding. At the same time, this approach highlights the human side of data by showing that behind each dot there is a story of a person or an organization.

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