Award-winning investigative news agency Bellingcat has used illustrations from three graduating BA(Hons) Illustration students in their annual report.
The illustrations used were as a result of a project last year with students to illustrate case studies on the Bellingcat website. Bellingcat used some of these images in their social media accounts at the time of the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The project started with three investigators from Bellingcat visiting the students to give a presentation about the agency’s history, the nature of open-source investigation and some key cases including an assessment of current events in Ukraine.
The talk provided the foundation for the project in which students were asked to choose a case-study from the Bellingcat website as inspiration for an illustration.
Graduating student Freddy Goodfellow, whose illustration are featured in the report, said that he was unaware of Bellingcat’s reputation before the project but that the subject felt incredibly relevant and important: ” The Ukrainian invasion was all that was being talked about at the time, and I was pleased to get the chance to see how i would best respond to a brief such as this one. On top of that, Bellingcat itself appeared to me as a really interesting news outlet, as their USP revolved around open-source research. This is something very much important in the age of the internet.”
Freddy used the medium of collage in his illustration: “Intrigued by soviet modernist architecture and brutalism I started my constructing shapes, and then built a dirty looking atmostphere using a lino roller and black ink. I placed blocky squares on the roller as a way to bring bit closer to the brutalist aesthetic. The act of rolling the ink over the collage was a process that i felt made me think of censorship, something essential in Russia’s policy.”
Speaking about the publication of the report 2nd year coordinator Jeremy Radvan said: “As you can imagine the Bellingcat Annual Report is sent to a huge number of organisations and individuals. As the students are about to graduate next month, this could not come at a better time for them.”