Beste Interactive Teddy Cherim
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Ground-breaking documentary in which two hostile Ugandan warriors meet... in virtual reality.
The discussion regularly pops up about the alleged qualities of virtual reality as an 'empathy machine', where the viewer experiences situations more personally than would be possible through film images, photographs or text. With VR, you are not just a spectator, but you are immersed in the images, making you part of the world in which the story is set. In Meet the Soldier, this quality is used to foster mutual understanding among conflicting parties.
In addition to local disarmament programmes of the Ugandan government and various social community programmes, the organisations Mensen met een Missie and Hack the Planet try to encourage empathy and raise awareness through special projects. Meet the Soldier is one example: a ground-breaking virtual reality documentary about two violent actors from contending tribes in Karamoja, Uganda, who meet each other in VR. By deploying the film as a mediation tool between hostile groups, the organisations want to make a contribution to lasting peace and reconciliation. In VR, Lomorumoe from the Tapac and Ariko from the Matheniko are brought together, to let them experience each other’s perspectives on the conflict. Via the 360-degrees camera, the spectator looks through the two warriors’ eyes, providing new perspectives.