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Information Experience Design (MA)

Xinyu Zhang

Drawing on hew own experience, Xinyu Zhang critically considers one of the main political narratives of the COVID-19 government, the war metaphor, in relation to the psychology and behaviour of citizens.

She argues that this metaphor includes portraying the epidemic as a war, intimidating the population by exaggerating the danger of the germs, creating a sense of mission and meaning at the organisational and individual levels, and creating a sense of isolation and sacrifice by inspiring militaristic values in the population, exacerbating helplessness and fear. thereby weakening the responsiveness of individual citizens and increasing obedience to policy.

Zhang's work aims to help people who suffered from Mysophobia during COVID-19, who had the same experience as the author, to become aware of the political truth behind the war metaphor and its impact on their condition, and to warn more people by showing the consequences of the war metaphor acting on some individuals (Mysophobia).

Bacteria are presented dialectically, as Zhang hopes to invite visitors to reflect, develop and enrich their own narratives concerning bacteria in the context of pandemic, with scientific and political context.

The entire work consists of an experimental video, six small installations and an e-book.

The whole work is divided into three parts: an experimental video, an installation and an e-book.

The experimental video begins by documenting the experiences of a person suffering from phobia, introducing the public to the metaphors of war and phobia.

Six small installations present the grievances and thoughts of six interviewees (Mysophobia) about the metaphor of war, critically conveying to the viewer that Mysophobia is not only a psychological condition, but also an extreme result of the metaphor of war acting on the psychology and behaviour of the population during a specific medical period. The audience can scan a QR code on the installation to hear their voices and, with the hearing impaired in mind, there is a video interview with subtitles.

The final section is a publication that invites the public to draw on the experiences of people who suffered from Mysophobia during the COVID-19 period and to reflect on how to avoid suffering similarly today and in the future after the end of COVID-19. The public is also introduced to specialist knowledge about germs in the hope that it will help the audience to look at germs scientifically, to look at war metaphors dialectically and to improve their personal coping skills.

*This work was filmed and interviews recorded with the consent of the people involved, and thanks to all participants.

An indictment of war metaphors by six people with Mysophobia.
InterviewThe voices and common cleaning actions of six people suffering from Mysophobia during COVID-19 were recorded to examine the consequences of the war metaphor acting on the population.
Readers are invited to read about the science of war metaphors and germs.
Us After COVID-19The author concludes the exhibition by inviting the reader to consider how ordinary people will face germs and war metaphors in the future. By conveying relevant scientific knowledge, the aim is to help the reader, having learned about the experiences of people who suffered from Mysophobia during COVID-19 in the first two parts of the exhibition, to gain experience in order to protect themselves dialectically and scientifically in the future.



RCA IED 2023

Website for RCA IED 2023 MA1 Public Event