‘Endless Letter’: RT launches interactive website with personal WWII correspondence for Russia’s V-Day
‘The Endless Letter’ website, produced in partnership with Red Collar Digital Agency, is the final part of the cross-platform #VictoryPages digital project launched by RT Creative Lab in 2020 and dedicated to 75 years of victory over Nazism. #VictoryPages is represented by ‘The Endless Letter’ on Instagram.
‘The Endless Letter’ is a unique graphic series featuring hundreds of excerpts from original World War II frontline letters, which have been collected from Russian archives by the team from the ‘Letters from the Front’ project. The quotes are accompanied with illustrations created by young students of the Moscow RANEPA Design School, as well as renowned artists Peter Bankov and Mikhail Sorkin. The letter fragments and illustrations were shared line-by-line on Instagram Stories, creating a kind of ‘endless letter’ with an original, non-stop score by young Russian composer Max Makarychev.
The new website gathers the frontline missives, illustrations and music into a cloud-like interactive archive.
“Our online archive of letters is an archive of feelings,” says Kirill Karnovich-Valua, the creative director at RT Creative Lab. “Every line carries an image of a real human being. This is a story about the fate of an ordinary person – a soldier, a wife, a mother, a child, a father... It is the story of millions of families, those who lived and died during that terrible war. First and foremost, it is a story of love.”
The unique user experience offers an intimate glimpse of a world at war. Karnovich-Valua says:
We wanted to create the atmosphere of reading cherished letters by candlelight, to tell a private story of that time, the stories of ordinary people.
The triangle-shaped pieces of parchment unfold when you click on them and reveal a fragment of a letter together with an illustration accompanied by music and special effects. The letters containing the author’s name and fate (when it is known) are organised chronologically.
“Our goal was to produce an unusual user experience. A space which lets you fully immerse into the moment,” says Denis Lomov, Red Collar’s creative director. “The letters are arranged in a 3D space. With the help of colors, fonts and textures, we transport the user to the times of the Great Patriotic War, and the subtle silhouettes of people, flying sparks, soaring snow, tracing bullets and music help convey the tension and tragedy of each and every story.”
The website uses the font ‘May’, created especially for the #VictoryPages project. The unique font is compiled from hundreds of original historical inscriptions hand-written by Soviet soldiers on the Reichstag walls in the spring of 1945.
#VictoryPages is a large multi-platform digital project dedicated to the 75th anniversary of the defeat of Nazism. It presents an opportunity to assess the magnitude of May 9, 1945, the day the war ended for the USSR, through the personal impressions of our contemporaries. Nearly 27 million people were killed or died during the war. The project is a story of victory told for the young, by the young, using the language of modern media, on five social networks.
Different series of the #VictoryPages project have gathered a total of 69 awards, including Webbys, Clio Awards, Epica Awards, Shorty Social Good Awards and Red Dot Awards, among others.