Visual Communication

Losing One's Way

How can visual communication be used to explore taboo topics?

What did you want to explore?

Through the project ‘Losing One's Way’ I wanted to explore how we talk about and visualise taboos. I have focused on the sensitive issue of suicide and studied the narrative and visual tools available to us in processes where true stories are turned into moving images.  

What has the process been like?

The actual process has been an interesting journey during which I have looked at everything from the animated documentary film genre to visualisations of taboos and audience theories. The story in the film is close to home for me, which has made the process demanding at times. As a result, some of the choices have been made out of consideration for my family.

What is the result?

The result is an animated documentary film based on a personal story.  
Since animation is so strongly linked to fiction, I wanted to look into what it can add as a documentary film hybrid. In this genre, I saw a potential for illustrating feelings related to mental health – using animation as a fiction tool in order to encourage reflection on how we perceive fiction and reality.   

Why has this been important to you?

I believe it to be very important to work with taboos to create openness and dialogue between people, and it has therefore been important to me to be able to use my own story to do this. It has not always been easy, but a lot of good has also come out of this process. Opening up partially closed doors does not necessarily have to be painful – it can also rekindle good memories and give room for reflection on the situation. That is what I want ‘Losing One's Way’ to be: a tool for talking to each other and visualising difficult feelings that are not always easy to put into words.