The “Edit Wars” project delves deep into the phenomenon of state-controlled information manipulation, especially pronounced during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. By artistically interpreting Russian propaganda, this initiative seeks to heighten awareness and foster resistance against such manipulations.

“Edit Wars” is a transdisciplinary project that fuses data journalism with art to decipher and artistically interpret Russian propaganda narratives. Originating in the backdrop of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, the project seeks to uncover the state’s manipulation and control over information. Using tools like the GDELT Global Difference Graph (GDG) databases and the BERTopic algorithm, the project analyzes over 250,000 news headlines from Russian-language media. This research unveils the distorted reality propagated during the invasion, serving as a foundation for the project’s subsequent artistic endeavors, such as the “Propaganda Narrative Soundscapes” installation.

Research Methodology

Within the information bubble created by the Russian authorities, propaganda narratives are woven to present an alternative history. “Edit Wars” dissects these narratives, sourced from Russian state-approved digital media between January and July 2022. Using advanced tools like GDELT Global Difference Graph (GDG) databases, BERTopic algorithm, and visualization platforms like Tableau and the Spacy library, the project unveils the distorted reality propagated during the Russian invasion.

Goals of the project include deconstructing Russian propaganda, developing data analysis tools, studying the dynamics of propaganda in media, promoting critical thinking, and crafting artistic interpretations of research insights.

Web Platform: visualizes research findings and dissects key propaganda themes and techniques. This online platform showcases the cultivation of enemy imagery, imperial resentment, and the “Newspeak” of state propaganda.

Interactive Installation: “Propaganda Narrative Soundscapes”

This installation transforms narratives into auditory and visual experiences, offering a deeper understanding of propaganda mechanisms. It encompasses an “Outside” space for analysis and an “Inside” room symbolizing aggressive news dissemination.

Photos: Slava Romanov, Antonio Hofmeister Ribeiro,

Interactive Installation: “Propaganda Narrative Soundscapes: Dashboard”

This installation, adapted for portable format, presents the detailed research insights of the Edit Wars project in a dashboard interface, combining them with realtime propaganda websites load on the second screen, and a sonified feedback within 3 7-minute soundscapes, with temporal and topical touchscreen navigation.

Photos: Slava Romanov


“Edit Wars” has been presented at multiple exhibitions:

The project was launched as the Master project within the HfK Digital Media program (Winter Semester 2022-2023), with support from professors including Dennis Paul, Petra Klusmeyer, Andrea Sick, Peter Von Maydell, and Ralf Bäcker.

The project was honored as the winner in the Artists for Media track of the Mediafutures program at DemoDays 2022 in Paris.

Project Team

The Edit Wars team consists of:

  • Alberto Harres, Artist and Developer
  • Antonio Hofmeister Ribeiro, Artist and Developer
  • Lucy Saribegyan, Artist and Designer
  • Maiia Guseva, Data Analyst
  • Slava Romanov, Media Artist, Team Lead
  • Sofya Ozga, Artist and Researcher

Tools used

  • GDELT GDG Big dataset and Google BigQuery for extracting relevant headlines
  • BERTopic and SpaCy, via Google Colab for topic clusterization and building word combination tables
  • Tableau Public for creating a research dashboard with regex filtering
  • 3d-force-graph library for rendering the Word connection graph
  • a website hosted on Netlify
  • Derivative TouchDesigner creating an “Outer” audiovisual piece
  • Unity for creating an “Inner” audiovisual piece


Endorsed by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (MediaFutures «‎Artist for media»‎) under grant agreement No. 951962.

Media Publications

Highlighted by esteemed media outlets such as TAZ and Buten un Binnen.

Project Timeline

  • Nov 2021-Jan 2022: Conceptualization and Mediafutures program application
  • Feb-Apr 2022: Mediafutures Program interviews and team adjustments
  • Apr 2022: Mediafutures program commencement
  • May 2022: Methodology development
  • Jun 2022: Expert consultations and data requests
  • Jul 2022: Team Hackathon and journalist consultations
  • Aug 2022: Website design and structure finalization
  • Sep-Oct 2022: Prototype creation and website updates
  • Nov 2022-Jan 2023: Website updates and installation preparation
  • Feb 2023: Instagram launch and “Propaganda narrative soundscapes” exhibition
  • Feb-Apr 2023: Feedback collection, funding search, and grant applications
  • May 2023: “Propaganda Narrative Soundscapes: Outer” presentation
  • Jun 2023: Mediafutures DemoDays 2023 keynote speech
  • Sep-Oct 2023: Development of the Dashboard interface
  • Nov 2023 - Feb 2024: Exhibition in Bremen
  • Mar 2024: Exhibition in Vilnius