As widely acknowledged, a significant part of the revolution in Egypt was both documented and encouraged by the use of social media. For more than three weeks, the Egyptians uploaded hundreds of videos and pictures and left a trail of an infinite number of tweets between the January 25 protests that invigorated the movement and the day Hosni Mubarak stepped down. Now all this inside information is in danger of being lost to oblivion. It is true that the web provides a chance for immediate publication of events anywhere and by anyone in the world, but it is also true that tweets, uploads and posts have a short life span, being quickly liquidated by the same networks that allowed them to exist.
18 Days in Egypt is a project launched by former New York Times video journalist and current Knight fellow at Stanford University, Jigar Mehta. It aims to be an interactive, crowd-sourced documentary about the events of the revolution. “We want to use the same tools to tell the story as the story was told to us,” Mehta says. The site wants to tackle the difficult task of providing the right context for the raw videos and news that others have posted and collected. The project calls on people around the world to tag media from Egypt by its date, place and type. The documentary itself will evolve as footage flows in over the coming months. Mehta and his team are mulling several different formats for the final product, including an interactive feature like Arcade Fire’s Wilderness Downtown, which would allow users to view any moment of the 18-day revolution.
Design, content and social media join forces with 18 Days in Egypt, in the struggle to preserve the very personal side of history, that has emerged with events in Northern Africa. 18 Days in Egypt intents to make history not only accessible but sharable for generations to come. Follow the story on their site http://18daysinegypt.com/