Lev Manovich Announces First Study of Instagram Photos from 2014 Ukrainian Revolution

Professor Lev Manovich (Computer Science) announced today a new study of over 13,000 photos taken during the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution and shared on Instagram.
Titled “The Exceptional & The Everyday: 144 Hours in Kiev,” the study uses data visualizations to explore patterns in images shared during February 17-22. The photos depict not only confrontations between demonstrators and Ukrainian government forces, but also present everyday life against the backdrop of an unfolding uprising and political revolution.
While other researchers have examined the use of Twitter and Facebook during recent social protests such as Arab Spring, this is the first study to focus on the visual medium of Instagram.
“Over a few days in February 2014, a revolution took place in Kiev, Ukraine,” Manovich said. “How was this exceptional event reflected on Instagram? What can visual social media tell us about the experiences of people during social upheavals? We spent eight months working on the collected images, exploring the data from every possible angle.”
The project is the latest from Manovich’s lab to examine large collections of social media images. Previous projects include phototrails.net (visualization of 2.3 million Instagram images from 13 global cities) and selfiecity.net (analysis of 3,200 Instagram selfies from five cities). In July, the Graduate Center also announced the creation of the CUNY Center for Digital Scholarship and Data Visualization.

Submitted on: OCT 7, 2014

Category: Computer Science | Faculty Activities | General GC News | Graduate Center Digital Initiatives | Research Studies