Based on British journalist Steven Poole´s intriguing book of the same name, Submarine Channel presents Unspeak, an interactive documentary investigating the manipulative power of language. Blending filmmaking, data, technology, and design, the story of Unspeak unfolds across a series of short films, data visualizations, and a participatory dictionary in an interface designed for the web and tablet.

Unspeak is a form of coded language that can be learned, and the documentary aims to kickstart the conversation, educate and empower audiences, and make the prevalence of Unspeak framing visible to the public. People will not be taken in for a moment by the power of deceptive language if we actually stop to think about it. Once you tune in to the wealth of daily Unspeak talk, you'll start seeing and hearing it everywhere. And then, perhaps, we can fight back.

Do you want an introduction to this site? We prepared a video:

Walkthrough on Vimeo

Or you can download our press kit with general information and high res images:

Press kit (PDF)


#1 / Words are Weapons

Directed by Tommy Pallotta
Written and narrated by Steven Poole
Research Lauren Murphy
Editor Geert van de Wetering & Maurik de Ridder
Editor Assistant Yorrick de Nooijer
Voiceover recording Pascal Wyse
Commissioning editor VPRO Barbara Truyen

This production was supported by the Dutch Cultural Media Fund and The Netherlands Film Fund, a SubmarineChannel production in collaboration with VPRO© Submarinechannel foundation

#2 / Money Talks

Directed by Rob Schröder
Written and narrated by Steven Poole
Voiceover recording Pascal Wyse

#3 / Natural Disasters

Directed by Menno Otten
Written and narrated by Steven Poole
Researcher Hielke Zevenbergen
Voiceover recording Pascal Wyse

#4 / Anti-Social Media

Directed and edited by Benoit Detalle & Marija Jaćimović
Written and narrated by Steven Poole
Voiceover recording Pascal Wyse
Sound Design and Mix Jakov Munižaba
Project Assistant Nikola Marinković

#5 / Obamarama

Directed by Geert van de Wetering
Editor Maurik de Ridder
Written and narrated by Steven Poole
Research Willemien Ruys and Luuk van Huet
Voiceover recording Pascal Wyse

#6 / Brave New Minds

Directed by Jennifer Abbott
Written and narrated by Steven Poole
Voiceover recording Pascal Wyse
Thanks to Sean Balint and Jacques Roiseux

Main Moving Image Sources
The Trilogy "Körper", "S", "noBody" by Sasha Waltz, Trailer by Stephan Taineau
The Power of Conformity, The Asch Experiment, Social Psychology Behavior Lab Conformity
Lexicon by Andrew Lewis, Text by Tom Barbor-Might
The Typewriter by Brandenburg Symphony Orchestra
Classical Typewriter Symphony, Leroy Anderson, Martin Breinschmid with StrauÃ? Festival Orchestra Vienna
France 5 Rebrand, Directed by Alphabetical Order, Executive Production Les Télécréateurs, Production Company Aspekt
Official Video for Transfer Take Your Medicine Directed by Nader Husseini, Developed by Radium/Reel FX
Word as Image
Building a Global Visual Language from the Neon Project
Future Proof Directed by Nathan Drabsch
Aedes by Quique Rivera Rivera
Morphē Short Film for Aēsop, Written and Directed by Lucy McRae
Phallic Symbols are All Around You
Hilarious Accidental Phallic Symbols
White Boy Drops Sick Beat – (on YouTube – can’t find boy’s name but would like to)
Gravity // Un Reve De Demain by Filip Piskorzynski
Refraction – The Alphabet by Jesse Zanzinger
Various from Harry Houdini, Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin
A Corner in Wheat By D.W. Griffith
Love and Light, Video by Pedro Maia
Drone – Teaser Trailer
The Official Martell Cognac Channel
Predator C Avenger UAC
The Twelve – Showreel 2010
EAT Directed by Rick Mereki
Broken Hill trailer
The Life of Flowers from Vorobyoff Production


Creative Producer Femke Wolting
Submarine Channel Editor Geert van de Wetering
Interactive Production Manager Katy Yudin
Website and Data Visualization Design Catalogtree
Website and Data Visualization Development Systemantics
Datamining & Analysis Ai Applied
Development Submarine Channel Jorrit de Vries
Design Submarine Channel Christiaan de Rooij
Publicity Yaniv Wolf
Line producer Willeke Steenbeeke
Producers Femke Wolting & Bruno Felix

This project is made possible with the financial support of