"Golden Child, Gilded Child" is a visual interpretation of Serial↗, a podcast that follows the story of a man named Adnan Syed who was convicted of murder in 1999. The podcast's 11th episode focuses primarily on the rumors surrounding Adnan's case that portray him under two conflicting lights: one as "the community's golden child" and the other as a man capable of murder. The book surfaces a connection between a potentially wrongful conviction based on rumors and the rapid expansion of the United States' inmate population due to the political influence of private prison businesses.
Sourcing content from the podcast, the book highlights the dichotomy of collective perception of individual identity through a modular grid system as well as unique typographic voices representing that of Adnan, Adnan's classmates, the members of Adnan's community and family, the state's primary witness and a journalist named Sarah Koenig who reinvestigated his case fifteen years later. Champions of Adnan's innocence fight voices that claim that he is guilty.
Gold inserts throughout the book help to emphasize the inconsistencies of the case by adding a "gilded" layer of information that underlines the potential of a wrongful conviction. Without much conclusive evidence, it becomes difficult to extract the truth and the reader must wrestle with rumors surrounding the case. Ultimately, the overarching narrative advocates for prison abolition through restorative justice as an alternative to the government profiting (or, "cashing gold") from wrongful convictions through the prison-industrial complex.
role Visual design, book binding
duration 6 months