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The Journey of Foreign Fighters

Winner at the Information is Beautiful Awards: Gold - Current affairs and politics + Studio of the year - DensityDesign
Winner at the Malofiej 25 Awards: Best of show - print + Gold - World and nations


☞ Map: in the context of understanding the complex phenomenon of violent religious radicalization, this map details the journey of foreign fighters to the territories of the Caliphate. The data was retrieved from official organizations, research centers and consortiums that make this data publicly available.
The research for faith and meaning is for foreign fighters a research for God. One god who materializes in the battle against infidels and aimed to the creation of the Islamic State. Starting from the data about the movements of the fighters from their home countries to the combat fields, the project studies the role of social, religious and economic indexes that might influence the reality of each individual and that could be crucial in driving the need to look for equilibrium elsewhere missing. The available data from The Soufan Group also provides information about the official number of returnees from the combat field back to their home country. This movement of people is visualized with the yellow flow that leaves the original destination and goes back into the respective countries.



☞ Website: in addition to the visualization, we designed a complementary website that expands the insights of this research with country-specific contextual information, such as economic, religious and social data.

The project will be soon published on Corriere della Sera - Visual Data Online → Travel the Distance

☞ Exploring official data, phase 1 of 3: the project was developed during the 2016/2017 edition of DensityDesign final synthesis studio, with the aim of learning to observe and represent controversial phenomena from different perspectives, and to visually communicate them to different publics.
The data visualization on The Journey of Foreign Fighters was the final output of the first phase of the course, in which we were asked to choose, use and communicate official data sources. The design process was greatly supported by the course material and bibliography, as well as direct revisions of the work with the professors. Special attention was given to the design of the visual model of the representation to illustrate our academic learnings of the theory and history of data visualization.

Read about the second and third phase → Is a Brand and JOIN US

☞ Visual Data for laLettura, Corriere della Sera: on december 31st, 2016, the visualization was published on Corriere della Sera – laLettura #266, the sunday cultural supplement of the first italian newspaper. The map is featured in the "Visual Data" section together with an article by Lorenzo Cremonesi.

☞ Malofiej 25 awards, 2017: on march 31st, 2017, the visualization was awarded at the prestigious Malofiej International Infographic Awards with "Best of show" in print category and an additional gold medal in "World and nations" category.

"When we looked at this work, we understood it. The more we looked at it, the more we got out of it. It was beautifully designed, beautifully executed, and then at the end, or at the beginning depending on who you are, you notice the homage to the Great March. So it was all of these things, together, on a very difficult topic. This is something that I always wanted to understand and we all felt that we learned so much from it. The data wabs amazing, the presentation was smart overall and really wonderful, so congratulations."
— Sarah Slobin, at Malofiej International Infographic Awards Ceremony

☞ Feature interview on Market Cafè Magazine, issue2: in july 2017, the work was published on the second issue of Market Cafè Magazine along with a feature interview focused on the importance of collaborating in a multidisciplinary team. We also talked about our design process and how an academic piece became "Best of show" at the Malofiej Awards. In february 2018, the project is cited in Market Cafè Magazine issue3, with other works of student and ex-students of DensityDesign, after the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2017.

☞ Kantar IIB Awards, 2017: on november 29th, 2017, the work was awarded in London at the Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards with gold in "Current affairs & politics" and "Studio of the year" for DensityDesign, where the map was designed.

☞ The Art of Network III Exhibition, Boston: from january 13, 2018 to march 12, 2018, the visualization will be on display at The Art of Networks III exhibition, held at the Northeastern University in Boston, MA. The Art of Networks III was organized by Isabel Meirelles (OCAD University, Toronto, Canada) and is presented in conjunction with CompleNet 2018, 9th conference on complex networks.

"This exhibition, presents a dynamic cross section of data visualizations created over the past three years. Selected by a program committee, these visualizations were devised by leading research labs and studios around the world that are producing some of the most innovative work in this area."
— Northeastern University, Center for the Arts

☞ Visualizing Knowledge 2018, Aalto University: on may 4th, 2018, in occasion of Visualizing Knowledge conference that take place at Aalto University in Helsinki the visualization was displayed toghether with 10 selected works for the showcase.

"For the first time, Visualizing Knowledge features an exhibition that showcases new talents from the field of Information Design."
- Visualizig Knowledge

☞ IC18, Hilversum: on october 12th, 2018, in occasion of Infographic Conference 2018 that take place at Gooiland in Hilversum (Netherlands) our reserach about this project was presented. Me and the team had a talk about the design process behind the creation of the map.


☞ Team: Serena Del Nero / Marco Mezzadra / Claudia Pazzaglia / Alessandro Riva / Alessandro Zotta


☞ Press:
Kantar Information is Beautiful AwardsThe Winners: Current affairs & politics
Kantar Information is Beautiful AwardsWinners 2017
Corriere della Sera«La Lettura» e il DensityDesign Lab visual data, un trionfo a Londra by Cecilia Bressanelli
Online Journalism BlogInformation is Beautiful Awards 2017: “Visualisation without story is nothing” by Carmen Aguilar García
Creative ReviewKantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2017: The winners by Salonee Gadgil
Dataviz Blog2017 Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards announce groundbreaking shortlist
Wired ITACinque ruoli del design nella trasformazione del dato e dell'informazione by Paolo Ciuccarelli
MalofiejCorriere della Sera and The New York Times win Best of Show award
Corriere della SeraPremi Malofiej: la migliore infografica del 2016 è de «La Lettura» by Cecilia Bressanelli
5W INFOGRAPHICSAll the online winners of the Malofiej Infographics Aqards by Kuan Velasco
Politecnico di MilanoPrimo premio per la visualizzazione dati realizzata dagli studenti del «Density Design»
Diario de Navarra"Corriere della Sera" and "The New York Times" conquer Malofiej
Mangiatori di CervelliItaliani campioni d’infografiche by Salvatore Tancovi
VC.RUmalofiej 2017 «Это признание того, что мы занимаем прочную позицию в мировом интерактивном дизайне» by Alexey Novichkov


last update 20 november 2018. all images are copyright © 2018. serena del nero and their respective copywright holders. do not use without permission.