Ghanaian-American poet and musician Kofi Dadzie notes that "the most human trait is to want to know why" in his narration for a short film from Google that takes stock of the year in online search.
When users queried the service in 2020, they frequently prefaced inquiries with "why"—"Why is it called Covid-19?" "Why are people protesting?" etc.—seeking insight into 12 months marked by fear, uncertainty, and social upheaval on an unprecedented scale:
Developed by Google Brand Studio, the three-minute video features "Together," an anthemic track from producer Peter CottonTale, created in collaboration with Cynthia Erivo, Chance the Rapper and the Chicago Children's Choir.
The wide-ranging project incorporates data reflecting Google's top trending searches for 2020. "Coronavirus" and "election results" led the global list, followed by "Kobe Bryant," "Zoom" and "IPL" (The latter refers to India's premier cricket league.)
For U.S. trending searches, "election results" topped "coronavirus" for the top slot, followed by "Kobe Bryant," with "coronavirus updates" and "coronavirus symptoms" rounding out the top five.
Google also partnered with Pop-Up Magazine for a lavish 52-page print journal designed to represent a physical time capsule of the year. Some 300,000 copies will be inserted in newspapers such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times.