Sunday, 20 April 2014

UN in your language

Interview with Antonio di Vico

ADV picOver the year UNRIC has been fortunate enough to work with a number of talented people, of which quite a few have been visual artists. Most of our projects require graphical input of some form or another and one designer in particular has been one of our staunchest supporters.

Antonio di Vico is a digital media and communications expert who has worked on and off with the United Nations for the best part of the last five years. His knowledge, eye for details and understanding of the UN have resulted in some of our most fruitful communication campaign.

This month he again put his creative talent to the UN's service producing a new infographic to mark International Women's Day entitled "The Endless Shame of Violence Against Women". This year's theme for the day is "A promise is a promise: Time for action to end violence against women".

We asked Antonio a few questions about his latest work, here is what he had to say:

Why did you come up with the idea of doing an infographic about Violence Against Women?

Violence Against Women (VAW) is a phenomenon whose proportions are often underestimated due to significant underreporting. I believe that knowledge is power and chose to use a creative tool such as an infographic to contribute to the global chorus of people that are saying 'NO' to Violence Against Women. While researching this project, I realized that violence against women affects more than only a few women in faraway countries, it is something that harms society as a whole and as such it is everybody's duty to help put a stop to this endless shame.

Why do you think infographics help raise awareness of UN issues?

I think that infographics are key to helping the United Nations spread its messages across the globe. Infographics are very powerful tools with a long shelf-life that require relatively limited resources considering the impact they can have. With the right data set, a well tailored message and an appealing layout, an infographic can reach thousands, if not millions, of people. They are designed to be visually appealing with information which is simple to understand.

In this day and age communications are fast paced, people 'consume' information using a wide range of communication devices and a multitude of different channels, though in a more and more superficial way. To catch people's attention, communication messages need to be meaningful and come from credible sources. In the case of the UN both condition are met. We are trying to talk about universal values, ending violence against women, eradicating poverty and universal education, to name but a few issues that concern all of us. The UN is an organization capable of facing these global challenges and infographics are one way of spreading the UN's message to the public at large.

This is not your first infographic for the UN, what other topics have you covered and which would you say you are most proud of?

During my time working with various UN agencies, I have created infographics on literacy, human rights, water, youth and now violence against women. I am attached to all of them but the one I am most proud of is probably one of my most recent projects, created for UNESCO, on water collaboration. It was a challenging topic and I am delighted with the way in which I managed to communicate on such a difficult issue.

Are there any other subjects you would look forward to working on?

Personally I feel very close to many UN topics, refugees is one, but if I had to pick my next topic it would have to be a project on childhood for UNICEF. A few years ago, I volunteered for an Indian NGO working on children's rights and the experience changed my point of view on many things I thought I knew. It was probably the reason why, a few years later, I decided I wanted to work for the UN.

 

Short Bio:
Antonio di Vico is a digital media and communications expert currently living and working in Bangkok. After completing a Master's Degree in Communications Science at the University of Salerno, Italy, and working for a few years in the media and communications industry for private sector companies, he decided to follow his interest and passion for developmental and human rights issues by contributing his skills to the non-profit sector. In the past three years he has worked on campaigns and advocacy projects for several United Nations agencies as well as NGOs. His website is www.antoniodivico.com.

Website: www.antoniodivico.com | Visual.ly page: http://visual.ly/users/antoniodivico?tab=submitted | Twitter: https://twitter.com/antoniodivico

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