Handbook of Tyranny portrays the routine cruelties of the 21st century through a series of detailed nonfictional graphic illustrations. None of these cruelties represent extraordinary violence―they reflect day-to-day implementation of laws and regulations around the globe. Every page of the book questions our current world of walls and fences, police tactics and prison cells, crowd control and refugee camps. The dry and factual style of storytelling through technical drawings is the graphic equivalent to bureaucratic rigidity born of laws and regulations. The level of detail depicted in the illustrations of the book mirrors the repressive efforts taken by authorities around the globe.
The 21st century shows a general striving for an ever more regulated and protective society. Yet the scale of authoritarian intervention and its stealth design adds to the growing difficulty of linking cause and effect. By bluntly showing the designs, Handbook of Tyranny gives a profound insight into the relationship between political power, territoriality and systematic cruelties.
Theo Deutinger is an architect, writer and designer of sociocultural maps. He has regular lecture and teaching engagements with various institutions, including Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Strelka Institute Moscow and the Bauhaus in Dessau.