For most people it is too boring, time consuming, and unrewarding to plow through government data in search of the tidbit of information they're looking for. In this case, that bit of information concerns the cultural budgets of the competing countries. This data needs to be visible to the public in a clear and simple manner so that people can easily see what's going on in their country. They can't take a politician's word for it. That goes for this project too: it has to remain transparent, otherwise viewers would just be mindlessly following and believing designers, instead of their local politicians.
I think designers often get carried away in their personal preferences to the point that their work stops communicating and starts becoming purely aesthetic. Personally, I like design to be elementary because that leaves little room for the designer to lie or confuse. At the same time I have also experienced that an elementary approach often results in super boring design. This is my problem with a lot of design nowadays: it is either too subjective or too boring.
When seeing the complicated code my colleague was writing for his infographic, I liked the way it looked: extremely boring yet really honest and elementary. But in the final infographic he would present, the code would be hidden from sight. Since the project is about visibility, I thought it would be fun to just print out all that code and present it as an infographic - to make things really transparent. Instead, I decided to conjure the feel of the code by using a bunch of monospaced characters, which also works well with the idea of impenetrable data.
If you look at the infographic knowing it's an infographic about government budgets, you can start to understand how its pattern emerges. You can interpret it and compare it to others. When you look at it as a plain image though, the graphic pokes fun at the austere and solemn tone of 'visualizations of governmental budget data'. Seen that way it's an ironic critique on infographics, while at the same being an honest infographic itself. Beautiful.