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Beyond Bytes

An animated short on online oppression & accidental activism

This award-winning animated short film tells the story of Iran's "Halal Internet" and accidental activists in under 3 minutes.
About the project
Data Visualisation
Motion Design
Creative Direction

In 2012 Maral published a 6-panel infographic explaining the complexities of the Iranian internet. Shortly after German magazine Der Spiegel covered Maral's data installation The Iranian Internet within the context of the Berlin re:publica conference, where it debuted for the first time, the project took a life of its own. The original work is a static visualisation designed for an in-person / offline experiences. It was too big to stay legible on screens. The project was doing its' rounds around the globe but just with pictures of the installation itself.

Today, more than ever, we know that censorship is not just happening in countries with oppressive regimes, but Iran still tops the list of the world's leading information suppressors. Florian Köhne, an award-winning filmmaker, shared his skills to create BEYOND BYTES. An online-friendly, easy to share and quick to understand version of the original. By changing the medium of the project we were able to spread awareness about online censorship in Iran faster and with a wider audience.

Data Visualisation
Motion Design
Creative Direction
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  1. 2014 — Silver Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards for Motion Infographics

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  1. Directed by Maral Pourkazemi
    Animation by Florian Köhne
    Narrated by Justin Beard
    Music by Albrecht Schrader
    Original script by Bronwen Robertson

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