Aardman Animations has teamed with the BBC to make "We Wait," an Oculus Rift VR experience based on BBC interviews with migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean.
The experience (see the trailer here) takes place on a beach in Turkey, where the viewer joins a Syrian refugee family waiting to cross the sea to Greece. The aim is to give the audience an understanding of what it's like to be on board a smuggler's boat as a migrant.
In a "Making Of" film by Aardman, seen here, Aardman interactive creative director Dan Efergan and animation director Darren Dubicki discuss how Aardman worked on making the viewer feel like a bystander in the film, with particular regard to eye contact with the characters.
The VR film will be featured as part of an exhibition by Publicis U.K. later this month entitled "There's a Good Immigrant." The aim is to celebrate the creativity and diverse perspectives that migrants bring to British culture and the creative industries. The exhibition will also include a photographic series by Sara Shamsavari; a provocative lookalike photograph by Alison Jackson showing Donald Trump posing for a picture with members of the Ku Klux Klan, and Hormazd Narielwalla's "Lost Gardens" collage series, the artist's response to Brexit as a recent migrant.
Advertising creative director Jo Wallace conceived the exhibition, with collaboraiton from curator Erin Manns and arts communications consultant Helena Zedig. It will run Aug.17 to Sept. 1 at Publicis U.K.'s offices in Baker Street, London.