“News from (Now)Here” is a series of collaborative animated VR-documentaries focused on the search of utopias by creating an empathetic approach to the lives of people living in slums through the use of immersive technology.
This assemblage examines the tacit processes of “Becoming” proposing a series of utopian re-enactments in form of immersive short films. The films seek to use virtual reality as a tool for the formation of empathy through the audiovisual experience of the daydreams of some inhabitants in the marginal urban communities of Ocupação Isidora in Belo Horizonte in Brazil and Lomo de Corvina in Villa El Salvador, Peru. In several film-workshops planned to be conducted with the on-site collaboration of the filmmakers Adrián Hartill, Juan Rhon, and grass rooted community organizations, we will discuss with local inhabitants how to create short utopian stories based on their everyday experiences and their ideas for a better future. From these discussions, we will produce short fictional VR films, which will be then post-produced into several small VR films representing each daydream.
The project is inspired by the 1890 utopian novel “News from Nowhere” by William Morris and is based on the use of virtual reality as a tool for social mediation as originally designed by BeAnotherLab and supported by the United Nations for the free use of technology (Creative Commons).
The filmmakers will be divided in two teams (one in Brazil and one in Peru) to accompany the protagonist in their daily activities and dialogue with them about their hopes, dreams and ideas for the future of their communities. With the collaboration of the studio VAMOS Animation, VR-animated sequences will be produced based on this dialogues and the audiovisual material produced before. In the end, the whole material will be post-produced into several small VR films representing each protagonist.
In order to create an immersive experience that allow the public to experience the world of Villa Futuro from the subjective perspective of Izidora’s and Lomo de Corvina’s protagonists, the VR documentary films will be presented in booths provided with VR headsets sets and uploaded to the internet as 360° films.
Thus, the goal of the project is not only to offer a close and empathic approach to the lives of the inhabitants of marginalized communities but also to encourage people from other latitudes of the world to get in touch with this communities and engage with their struggles to improve their living space.
We are still looking for support to materialize this project. If you would like to support us, please contact Gonzalo H. Rodríguez here.