An Indian Creative Agency’s Visual ‘Manual’ On World War III Is Frighteningly Real

An Indian Creative Agency’s Visual ‘Manual’ On World War III Is Frighteningly Real

[On the morning of February 27, 2019, Pakistani jets violated the Line of Control, which happened a day after the Indian Air Force launched a pre-emptive airstrike in Pakistan. The airstrike by the Indian Air Force was carried out by 12 Mirage 2000s and hit terrorist camps inside Pakistan, subsequently violating the Line of Control. The airstrike claimed the lives of approximately 300 terrorists and is believed to be a response to the February 14 suicide bombing in Pulwama, which claimed the lives of 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers. Terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed has claimed responsibility for the attack. Click here for live updates of the situation.]

Contrary to the ‘live fast, large and hard’ mentality of most, our future is not bulletproof and the aftermath of our current indulgences and pissing contests looks grimmer by the day. Each day we wake up with a new revelation, a new scandal, growing political aggression and apathy in its truest forms as the ugly face of conflict rears its head as a greater possibility of becoming our new reality.

It sounds pessimistic, but optimism often doesn’t come easy and becomes more idealism when you take your blinders off and be realistic. Be it over oil, oxygen, clean water or an ego battle – if World War III broke out, what would this new world order look like? New Delhi-based creative agency Animal’s visualisation of this prospect is eye-opening as it is horrifying for how close to reality it is. It’s almost like a peek into the future, it seems surreal just how possible it all is.

Animal’s project – War is peace – seems like a guide to the future, a handbook of how things would play out. “A hundred years ago we were witness to the end of the world’s first large-scale conflict. The reason behind that end was simple: there was no unity to the havoc. Now, in a new millennium, armed with more than just arms, the World War Federation seeks to enforce corrective measures. And it starts much the same way as conflict does – indoctrination,” they state on the website.

Dark humour, frighteningly so, runs through their identity design along with visuals and text. The Armistice of 11 November 1918 marked the end of the World War I, and this year marked a hundred years of remembrance of the same – it was on this day that they launched their project. Using the colours black, white and blood red, Animal’s project is meant to make you contemplate about our future. It’s amusing because of just how real it can be, and as they themselves state, “Unlike a hundred years ago, though, this war could start with a tweet and end in nothingness, and it could all happen with the clinical efficiency of a corporate merger.”

The team behind its creation comprised Kunel Gaur (Concept / Creative Direction), Rajshree Saraf (Art Direction / Graphic Design), Snigdha Singh (Creative Writing / Content), Pranay Patwardhan (Motion Design), Prakhar Khandelwal (Copywriting), along with contributors Baptiste David, Rajiv Ranjan, Girik, Manoj Pandey and Rohan Mukherjee.

Image courtesy of Animal

We spoke to the Animal team who gave us insight into the project’s creation and conceptualisation. You can view the project in its entirety on the website here.

Homegrown: Can you tell us about how you conceptualised the project – it’s clearly a build-up of current events around us, but is there anything, in particular, that was the main trigger?

Animal: “A very sombre realisation of art imitating life, really. The world today is precariously placed. Hatred and bigotry are on the rise; propaganda continues to delude – whether here at home or a hemisphere away. Cynical as it sounds, war seems a delayed inevitability in these circumstances, where it’s not unusual to hope the world doesn’t implode by Wednesday.”

HG: What did you have in mind when you created this project – did you achieve what you wanted?

Animal: “The core idea was obviously to make people aware of a very real and imminent possibility. From the get-go, we knew we had to employ communication that goes against the grain, so to speak. So much is happening today that we’ve become almost desensitised by it: we avoid it for our sanity if nothing else. We knew that a traditional ‘don’t do this’ approach would not be as effective as a grim reminder of the horrors that await us if the prophecy comes to pass. This is where the idea of a ‘brand manual’ was born. Once people see the cold, clean clinicality of an organisation specifically born to wage war, the chilling reality of it would be better understood.”

Image courtesy of Animal

HG: What kind of reception are you expecting?

Animal: “There are no real, tangible agendas we have with this. It’s just our bit to create a warning cry that will be heeded – we’ve just used what we do best to disseminate it. Of course, there are many organisations today fighting to keep the peace. Two chiefs amongst them – UNHCR and Amnesty International – we’ve listed as ‘anti-war’. Their nature of work means that they will always need support, so we’d love nothing more if they see a surge in awareness and assistance.”

HG: There are clear global personalities and iconographies throughout but nothing specifically from the Indian context – was that a conscious decision?

Animal: “Just like the first two, the third war will transcend borders. At that point in history, direct Indian involvement in the war wasn’t a thing, so we stayed away from it, instead, using figures that everyone in the world recognizes. Once again, from the beginning, we wanted this to be global in its sensibility, where, no matter where one is, they understand loud and clear what we’re trying to say.”

You can view Animal’s creation here and see more of their works on their website.

Image courtesy of Animal
Image courtesy of Animal

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