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the devil's backbone

fall 2021

instructor: Rachel Robb Kondrath

Software: Photoshop, Procreate, Sketchup

Silence has been observed in many moments throughout history. Naturally, silence comes in many different forms. While the original The Devil’s Backbone by Guillermo del Toro focuses on silence that results from a conflict between two ideologies in Spain, I will focus on a form of silence that arises from the oppression of minorities in Turkey in my design. 


Specifically, my take on The Devil’s Backbone will be resituated during the Turkish War of Independence that took place after World War I. Despite its righteous name, the Turkish War of Independence was a series of oppressive campaigns launched by the Turkish Nationalist Movement. The establishment of the Turkish revolutionaries through the Nationalist Movement aimed to massacre and deport Christian minorities in Turkey. From the silence that led the Christians into hiding to the silence that the children were subjected to, exploring different types of how people came to be oppressed in this world is my primary objective in designing the film. 


The main design challenge would be to portray oppression and the resulting isolation in a visual manner. Primarily borrowing references from post-Justinian Byzantine era, the architecture and design of the film would be marked by austerity and bluntness despite the graceful, organic curves for which Byzantine architecture is best known. 


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