A harrowing ‘virtual museum’ of a Second World War prison camp in Belarus has won this year’s FIPP Digital Journalism Prize at the New Media Writing Prize (NMWP) awards evening.
The Future is Uncertain, Memory is Real by Maria Ivanova, Maria Kotova and Tatiana Zaidal of MediaLAB Glagol explores the brutal Shtalag-352 POW camp in Minsk where more than 10,000 Soviets are estimated to have lost their lives. The interactive story combines war-time footage with animation and narration based on memories of prisoners.
The entry was announced as the winner of the Digital Journalism Prize, sponsored by FIPP, at an online NMWP awards ceremony on 18 January, which recognised the best new media writing and interactive journalism for 2022. The NMWP encourages and promotes new media writing, helping to shape the future of the written word and interactive storytelling.
The Future is Uncertain, Memory is Real beat two other entries to the award: Polluted Electricity by Eman Mounir and Saber Al-Araby, which explores how the Al-Walidiya power station in Egypt is affecting the health and crops of those living in its shadow; and Hidden Away, These Women Also Made the Revolution by Diogo Cardoso, Rafaela Cortez and José Magro which looks at the women who, despite facing imprisonment, torture and death, were instrumental during the Carnation Revolution on 25 April 1974.
Other winners on the night were Penrose Station by Kathryn Yu (Writing Magazine Student Prize); Child of Empire by Omi Zola Gupta (Wonderbox Digital Opening Up Prize); and Anonymous Animal by Everest Pipkin (The Chris Meade Memorial Main Prize).
Leading up to the awards evening, NMWP for the first time held an online two-day Digital Literature for Social Good “unconference”, hosted by Bournemouth University in partnership with the Electronic Literature Organization and the British Library.
The event has resulted in a new award category for the New Media Writing Prize 2023 – Digital Literature for Social Good – which will specifically be for new media writing (outside the journalism sphere) that seeks to enact change regarding the world’s “thorny” problems, like climate change, social inequality, sustainability, and more.