Friday, September 07, 2018

Refugee Camps & the September Storms

I've seen a number of mapped visualizations recently about the dangers to Bangladeshi refugee camps from flooding. None of those visualizations work quite as well as the BBC's The girl whose home could slip away.

What makes the BBC's account of Cox's Bazaar and the other Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh so powerful is the gripping narrative it contains. I've been reading a lot lately that data visualizations should be about the data and that telling a story with the data isn't very important and can actually distract from the sacred data. 'The girl whose home could slip away' is a brilliant example of how great storytelling can engage the reader and help them become emotionally involved with the people behind the data.

I don't want to say too much about the BBC's account of the Rohingya refugee camps in case I spoil the experience for you. I'd just like to praise how the account moves from an individual refugee to the dangers that the refugees face from the September storms and to the reasons why these camps exist and how the Rohingya have been forced from their homes.

Also See

Amnesty International's Mapping Myanmar's Atrocities Against Rohingya

Reuters' Burned to the Ground - which uses satellite imagery of Myanmar to identify villages which have been shelled and / or burnt to the ground

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