Flint is a place
Beyond "the American dream gone wrong"
Flint, a city in central Michigan, has long been the poster child for the American dream gone wrong. Between Michael Moore and the ongoing Water Crisis, everyone thinks they know what to expect when they hear the name “Flint” — economic, political, and social dysfunction. But that’s not all it is.
In 2015, filmmakers Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper made their first feature documentary, “T-Rex,” about Clarissa Shields, an Olympic gold medal-winning boxer who hoped that sport would be her ticket out of Flint. “Flint is a place” picks up where T-Rex left off — by taking a deeper look into the lives of the people of Flint, a city with “a strong identity and deep scars.” Canepari approached Decimal to design and develop a digital home for this immense, sprawling project.
- Visit Site
- Zackary Canepari
- Arts + Culture
Six sites in one
The project is narratively structured as a series of seven episodes. Each episode focuses on a specific character or a systematic issue and engages with a different community within the city.
Using a variety of media — film, photographs, audio, design, VR — the project includes chapters on the water crisis, the Flint police department, and a collaboration with the youth at the city’s juvenile detention facility. The design of the episode index presents a quick tease of the different stories to be explored.
“The Prom” welcomes readers to the 2016 Flint Northwestern High School Prom. Prom in Flint isn’t your average everyday high school dance — it's a city wide event — and the three photographers involved wanted to celebrate these young people.
The design of this chapter is a collage of the prom universe that can be navigated using images, videos, and quotes from the students.
The Last Dance
As an extension of “The Prom”, a year later, we collaborated with Lorenzo Fanton to create a fanzine that celebrates the last prom of Northwestern High School before it was closed down permanently in 2017. The spreads of the zine were designed to be unfolded and work as a collection of 16 posters.
An understaffed police department
Diving deep into the issues that Flint citizens are experiencing with the police, the Flint Police Department chapter, in collaboration with FPD, shows their humanity in the face of very limited resources.
The filmmakers were granted access to the dispatch calls database which we visualized in a data piece in collaboration with creative technologist Genevieve Hoffman. The episode led Netflix to commission FlintTown, a documentary series.
Transcending the web presence
The multi-platform nature of this project creates a sense of immersion by including elements of virtual reality, interactivity, archival material, photography, graphic design, audio, public installation, animation, a book, and a newspaper.
The project was adapted to be exhibited in different venues including Photoville in Brooklyn, Bronx Documentary Center, and the Cortona Film Festival.
- Guillermo Brotons
- Frederik Delmotte
- Zackary Canepari
- Transmedia producer
- Liza Faktor
- Fanzine designer
- Lorenzo Fanton
- FPD Creative technologist
- Genevieve Hoffman