“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.
“News from (Now)Here” is an interactive VR documentary 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. The project seeks to use virtual reality as a tool for social mediation and calls for the formation of empathy through user interaction with the subjective world of the protagonists. The protagonists are real inhabitants of the slums Ocupação Izidora in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and Lomo de Corvina in Villa El Salvador (Peru), who asume the role of a character of Villa Futuro. In workshops with the on-site collaboration of the filmmakers Adrián Hartill and Juan Rhon and local community organizations, we will chat with the protagonists about the development of the story of Villa Futuro in the context of their everyday experiences and their challenges for the future.
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 slums inhabitants 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.