D3.5 Concept: VHH i-docs

This deliverable conceptualizes the Visual History of the Holocaust Media Management and Search Infrastructure (VHH-MMSI) as an interactive documentary (i-doc).

Our concepts for digital curation reach beyond current technology-orientated models for managing digital collections. Those principles are combined with principles developed in museum curatorship, and with innovative approaches in interactive storytelling and database-driven narratives. This allows to interact with digital collections in responsive ways that encourage collaboration and participation of researchers and the broader public. 

Similarly, the format of interactive documentary filmmaking (i-doc) introduced innovative approaches of multifaceted and engaging encounters with complex realities. Therefore, this deliverable discusses the VHH-MMSI and its features in relation to the i-doc format. The defining characteristics and conceptual approaches that constitute the basis of the VHH project correspond in manifold ways to the conceptualization of i-docs. For that purpose, we discuss in a first step i-doc theories and concepts in order to identify especially those elements that emphasize the open, dynamic and collaborative character of this multimodal approach. A main point of difference, however, is that the VHH project aims at engaging with social and historical reality in a reflexive, not in an immersive way. Hence, our main question in this context is, whether the i-doc concept is also applicable to large online repositories of archival footage and related documents that stimulate user participation through actively searching, annotating, editing and narrativizing historical sources. 

In this deliverable, we outline the analogies and potential intersections as well as differences between the i-doc model and the VHH-MMSI. For that purpose, we analyze existing i-docs and related digital projects, and identify specific technological, stylistic and narrative features that are characteristic for interactive storytelling. Based on our findings, we compare the VHH-MMSI to the characteristic elements of i-docs. Thereby, we offer a conceptualization of the VHH-MMSI as an interactive approach to document Nazi atrocities and the liberation of the concentration camps. Our collection of historical visual records thus enables engaging and participatory forms of exploring and constructing the visual history of the Holocaust.

WP3 Curation of engagement levels of digital assets
Task 3.1 Development of curatorial framework