Reverse Engineering “A Liberian Journey”

The project I chose to analyze is essentially a storytelling of Liberian history. “A Liberian Journey” is mainly the result of an expedition in 1926 financed by the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. as a means to understand the cultural and geographic makeup of the country they had been recently introduced to. The pictures and videos taken during the expedition are, to date, the oldest visuals of Liberia, which have been categorized by location and cultural significance. While the expedition was meant to be a scientific/business venture, the Harvard student managed to capture the country during a period of rapid change, unrivaled by any other speculation made in the present. The project also provides an interactive element in which its viewers can, and are encouraged to, expand on the project by sharing pictures, videos and stories about other periods of Liberian history, or provide a meaningful context to the media already posted on the site.

Home Page The layout of the website is fairly straightforward, with the homepage presenting an interactive map of the country, populated by the routes and destinations of the 1926 expedition. Each of the destinations (around 50 in total) brings up a link to its respective pictures and video, which capture a combination of the natives, nature and local villages.
The Exhibits tab contains, for the time being, a presentation on one of the Liberian leaders and her impact on the landscape of 1900s Liberia. The exhibition goes far more in depth than the content in the other sections, and is supported not only by the expedition’s experience with the Chief, but historical analysis of the time period as well. The Collections tab is an amalgamation of all the information relative to the time, separated by type, which includes pictures, films, documents, diaries and stories.

2 Replies to “Reverse Engineering “A Liberian Journey””

  1. I am really intrigued by your introduction to the project, and the way you have weaved your analysis of the three components of the DH project into your narrative.

  2. I really like the whole “crowd sourcing” aspect of this project. I’m glad the person that made this DH project was self aware enough to realize he/she could not cover the entire story. So it would make sense to ask readers to post “other periods of Liberian history, or provide a meaningful context to the media already posted on the site.”. Smart!

Leave a Reply