As of this writing, Brazil ranks second for the highest cumulative number of COVID deaths in the world, just behind the U.S. In 2021, the country saw up to 2,000 deaths daily. Fearing that these numbers would become unrelatable data, Brazilian tech researcher and artist Edson Pavoni partnered with agency Rise New York & Partners to launch “Project Inumeráveis” to turn statistics into stories.
‘Project Inumeráveis’ transformed Brazilian COVID statistics into stories
“Inumeráveis” means lives can’t be numbered, and that was the philosophy of the project—to remind those seeing the unprecedented death count that COVID deaths are both real and preventable. Its first form took the shape of a digital memorial, a website that collected the stories of those deceased.
For two years, artists, journalists, psychologists and volunteers would interview those who had lost loved ones to the pandemic and collect their stories—as well as preventative health information—on the site. It generated more than 4.7 million views.
Eventually, Brazilian celebrities, government institutions and politicians took notice and the online memorial became a resource for the country’s media coverage. With the support of the City of São Paulo, “Project Inumeráveis” will soon erect a physical memorial in the city. The curved stone structure will feature the names of every person whose story was chronicled in the project’s archives and, whenever their stories are opened and read online, their names will illuminate on the structure.
Pavoni praised Rise New York & Partners’ “ability to turn a vision into reality [that] has impacted millions of people in Brazil. It shaped how ‘Project Inumeráveis’ influenced how the media covered the crisis in Brazil, allowing us to go even further.”