From prisons and refugee camps to impoverished and war-torn areas, there are environments all around the world that compromise people’s mental health. To illuminate stories from some of these communities, Robin Hammond, photographer and founder of nonprofit Witness Change, traveled to Lebanon, Madagascar, South Sudan and Togo this past year. The people he met during his travels can now be heard through a site created by global digital creative agency Hello Monday. The site is part of a larger campaign called In My World, run by Witness Change and fellow nonprofit Handicap International.
On the site, photography shines. To include supplementary content without interrupting the visuals, Hello Monday created Look Mode, navigation that enables users to experience the stories solely through pictures. If users want to learn more about a specific image, they can scroll down into Read Mode at any point to see related quotes, video content, and in-depth information about the featured people and location. At the end of each story, the site automatically directs users to the next main image in Look Mode. Whether images or audio, all content is served from Contentful, a cloud-based CMS. Hello Monday hosted the site on StackPath’s content delivery network and used Symfony, a PHP framework that handles caching of server-side pages, to reduce response time.
In order to achieve one of the larger development challenges—depth of field at a high frame rate throughout the site—Hello Monday used WebGL and hardware acceleration to blur imagery in real time. The resulting effect complements the site’s subtle “in-between” states and blink-of-an-eye image transitions. Completed in five months, the site invites visitors to share their own stories about mental health in a section called Raise Your Voice. Their submissions will be reviewed and featured on the site, adding more voices to the growing conversation around mental health.