Data Murals: Using the Arts to Build Data Literacy


  • Rahul Bhargava MIT Center for Civic Media / MIT Media Lab
  • Ricardo Kadouaki Independent Consultant
  • Emily Bhargava Connection Lab
  • Guilherme Castro State of Minas Gerais
  • Catherine D'Ignazio Emerson College



Civic Engament, Literacy, Mural, Learning, Partnerships,


Current efforts to build data literacy focus on technology-centered approaches, overlooking creative non-digital opportunities. This case study is an example of how to implement a Popular Education-inspired approach to building participatory and impactful data literacy using a set of visual arts activities with students at an alternative school in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  As a result of the project data literacy among participants increased, and the project initiated a sustained interest within the school community in using data to tell stories and create social change.

Author Biographies

Rahul Bhargava, MIT Center for Civic Media / MIT Media Lab

Research Scientist

Ricardo Kadouaki, Independent Consultant

public policy professional

Emily Bhargava, Connection Lab


Guilherme Castro, State of Minas Gerais

Specialist in Public Policies and Governmental Management

Catherine D'Ignazio, Emerson College

Assistant Professor of Civic Media and Data Visualization