In the online roleplaying game Garry’s Mod, dark fantasies are played out by young white men. Through their online personas, they become racist police officers, traumatized therapists, subordinate prostitutes, and caricatures of the ones they love. But in moments of vulnerability, the fantasy is more than just a performance.
QAnons loved Donald Trump, but in talking to them, it was as if they never even knew him. Instead, they knew the Donald Trump promised to them by Q. Marjorie Taylor Greene was the same: they loved the idea of a woman they knew, not the woman herself. Where did these fictions come from, and how did these anons fall in love?
About a year before QAnon would breach the mainstream, I spoke with Chicago’s most notorious QAnon promoter. Beyond the conspiracy theory’s sensationalist beliefs, we were able to find the underlying motivations for her participation in the community. More than anything else, she wanted to be a good mother.
While studying abroad in Dakar, I conducted something of an informal ethnography of its vast, complex marketplaces. Sandaga, the largest of these outdoor venues, became a second home (if you regularly find yourself getting swindled in your home).
These graphs tracking Chicago’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout tell the story of an inequitable pandemic, one that has continued to harm Black communities at disproportionate rates.
While not data visualization per se, I think this Adobe Spark does a nice job of visualizing the process I employed to conduct my research on QAnon. This links to an external site.
My first ever data visualization project involved examining sexual health disparities in the Chicagoland area using the statistical GIS software GeoDa.