"Passengers" and "Der Kachelmann-Prozess"
Berlin based illustrator Bo Soremsky created an interactive court report on the legal proceedings against the popular weathercaster Jörg Kachelmann. The project included interactivity and non-linear modes of presentation.
The project shows the courtroom - including the participants of the trial. The reader can select the most important participants to gain access to their testimonies. If a particular figure is clicked, new drawings show up to illustrate the statements and arguments of that person. These testimonies are presented in a very subjective way and strongly contradict each other. The reportage doesn't try to tell a genuine truth, it rather gives an overview of the opposing statements. At the end the reader must decide for himself, which testimony he wants to believe in. In this way the reportage gets a highly authentic and credible appearance which demands the reader’s engagement and involvement.
Though this experiment only touches on the possibilities of the virtual space, it shows the great potentials of digital narratives. More complex ways of interactive, non-linear storytelling and other techniques like incorporating multimedia content might provide completely new forms of illustrated reportages in the future.
"Der Kachelmann-Prozess" is part of Bo Soremsky’s master thesis. During his studies Bo examined if there exists a renaissance in reportage drawing by taking a closer look at the history of reportage drawing, and studied what new kinds of illustrated reportage may look like.
Bo analyzed contemporary reportage and talked to several experts in the field. An essential part of his thesis was his experimental work: he held workshops and created different kinds of drawn reportage of which the court-reportage Der Kachelmann-Prozess is one of those experiments.
I traveled to Mannheim several times to draw the participants of the trial and talk to journalists and visitors. Often I wasn't allowed to enter the courtyard because many parts of the trial were in camera, but some newspapers published secret hearing-protocols, so I read tons of newspaper articles and compared them to each other to find out which reports were trustworthy. Of course this is not the best way to gather information, but in that case it was the only way to get some of the most important facts.
It wasn't my goal to create a digital interactive piece at the beginning, but during my visits to Mannheim it became clear that an interactive, non-linear way of storytelling was the most promising and interesting way to present the case.
I illustrated the testimonies of the participants in my studio in Berlin after my visits to Mannheim. I tested different illustration-techniques and created several versions of the application. The results were presented to friends and fellow illustrators to find out if the piece worked the way I intended.
"Der Kachelmann-Prozess" is a good example of my working methodology. In my research I always try to gather information from as many sources as possible: News reports, books, biographies or even a visit to a museum can give great insights. Interviews with witnesses and participants and of course, visits to relevant places are essential.
During my research I always try to draw as many pictures as possible. It's hard to describe, but for some reason drawing seems to help me to understand the case. Usually I am able to use some of these drawings for the reportage, but often I have to work them over and in many cases I add additional illustrations.
During my work I usually show my pictures to friends, fellow illustrators and sometimes even strangers. I am not able to judge my work in an objective way and the evaluation is very important for me to stay focused, so I show my work to others and ask them: What is the story behind these pictures? When they give me the answer I want to hear, I am happy with my work.
Bo Soremsky was born in 1983 in Duisburg, Germany. After school he studied graphic design in Krefeld. In 2006, during his studies, he moved to Berlin. After finishing his diploma he did a masters degree in illustration /reportage drawing in Potsdam. Since 2011 he is working as a freelance-illustrator in Berlin. In addition he is correspondent for Urban Sketchers Berlin and he is organizing a music-festival called "Dong-Open-Air".
2012: Cat Content, z.B., oder gut zu Vögeln sein, Group Exhibition in Arm und Sexy, Berlin
2011: Zeichnungen, Solo Exhibition in [f.u.c] Bar, Berlin
Reportagezeichnung, Solo Exhibition in Freudenreich, Berlin
APPLAUS - Meisterhafte Abschlussarbeiten, Group Exhibition in FH Potsdam, Potsdam
Makellos, Group Exhibition in Arm und Sexy, Berlin
Panorama-Zeichnung, Solo Exhibition in Café Broschek, Berlin
2010: Eule oder Nachtigall, Group Exhibition in Arm und Sexy, Berlin
2009:10 Minuten Hermannplatz, Solo Exhibition in Café Broschek, Berlin
2008: Schmidtz Katzen, Group Exhibition in Villa, Berlin
More information about Bo's work on reportage drawing (in German)