This section outlines the archive theoretical, political and a pedagogical frame. It explains how cases were collected and what the tags used to classify projects mean. The aim is to disclose how this archive is being built, to ask users to be critical and see if the tags are meaningful or if disagree with them and why. At the same time, revealing the theoretical part that backs up the archive seeks to promote the creation of data visualisations that support the future creation of alternative narratives.

How were cases collected?

The collected cases include projects that have to due with social objectives that seek to engage audiences through the communication of alternative visions of the world using data in digital platforms. All projects were developed by independent and mainly bottom-up organizations such as self-organized citizen groups, NGOs , independent civil society organizations, researchers. They are non-profit, not private or business sector oriented. Beyond these characteristics, the projects responds to the filter of "spaces of confrontation" criterion based on Chantal Mouffe agonistic theory (2000).The space is configured by three axes: revelation, dissenssus and confrontation. The axes serves for identifying cases that bring alternative stories that challenge dominant power.

About the typology of projects

Based on each project purpose (mainly inferred or retrieved from their "about" section) It is proposed a taxonomy of data-driven alternative narratives which are:

About project’s topics and sub-topics

Each project focuses on a particular topic. Topics were manually classified by defining a macro topic and related sub-thopics. The five major topicsare: Policymaking, Transparency and accountability, Human rights, Memory and archives, and Surveillance. The following diagram maps according to your topics, subtopics as well as representing the number and type of organization involved in each project. observed how the subtopics overlap and cross one topic with another. This classification seeks to give more entry points to the reading of the projects and how they represent conflicts.

Cluster of topics and subtopics

About data acquisition category

The archive emphasizes observing how visualization projects for alternative narratives work with the data. There are several questions that can be asked, from do they contain a methodology section that explains how you worked with the data? Do we know who created that data and how? This classification deals with understanding and showing how the data was acquired in each project. Based on the Mirén Gutiérrez classification published in his research Data Activism and Social Change (2018), the following categorization is proposed:

The treemap diagram below visualizes relationships in the forms of data acquisition, the topics addressed and the types of projects. A project can acquire its data in more than one way, combining strategies in most cases.

Cluster of data acquisitions

Many of the projects state principles such as transparency and accountability, disclosure of power relations, or the right to open information. It is striking, however, that the vast majority of cases do not put much of these principles into practice through their own data visualizations by means that they don’t release the databases used in the visualizations, among other practices. From this can be inferred:

All three are fairly generic conclusions but they provide first lines of action to foster a critical data culture. This research aims to contribute from design to a more critical and knowledgeable data culture, so it points its efforts to the first of these stated observations. How design can you contribute to a more critical data culture?

Some good practices for alternative narratives with data

Through the collection of cases, some good practices were identified that serve to promote a more critical approach to the reading and construction of visualizations for alternative narratives. Some of them are: