On December 31, 2020, Adobe will stop distributing and updating Flash Player, the once revolutionary technology developed by Macromedia that opened the doors to true multimedia storytelling on the web. This means you have less than three months left to view the pioneering Flash-based websites Paradox developed with Rotterdam based designers Antenna-men for >Play, Carel van Hees’ 2001 project about the youth of Rotterdam, Go No Go, Ad van Denderen’s long term project about migration in Europe (2003), Why Mister Why?, Geert van Kesteren’s 2004 striking story about the war in Iraq, The Last Days of Shishmaref, Dana Lixenberg and Jan Louter’s 2008 project about the Inupiaq community whose island home is threatened by climate change and So Blue So Blue, Ad van Denderen’s 2008 project about the geopolitical tensions facing 17 Mediterranean countries.
>Play, Go No Go, Why Mister Why?, The Last Days of Shishmaref and So Blue So Blue were published during the early days of digital storytelling and have received between 375.000 and 750.000 visitors. The discontinuation of Flash raises important questions about digital archiving. The first digital story ever was Pedro Meyer’s I Photograph to Remember published on CD-ROM by the Voyager Company in 1991. The first graphical browser (Mosaic) became available in 1993 and as of 2000 serious multimedia was possible online. Many projects, that can be seen as successors to the print-based picture story were launched. But where the latter has been documented, collected and researched thoroughly, digital storytelling has been almost completely neglected by photographic institutions worldwide. Analogue material may fade slowly but digital material can disappear overnight. It has happened to hundreds if not thousands of web-based projects and will continue to do so if we do not address this issue urgently. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts!
Please note: to view the projects listed, open the links in the latest version of Mozilla Firefox and download and install Flash Player when requested. Safari, Chrome and others (may) have issues with Flash already, Flash-based sites have never worked on mobile platforms.