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Twenty-year-old Amanda travels from New York City to her brother in an upstate prison, and you join her in real time: WhatsApp as a digital story platform.

New media constantly demand new narrative forms. The mobile documentary A Temporary Contact tells the story, in real time, of 20-year-old Amanda from New York City, who travels to her brother in an upstate prison. By saving her as a temporary contact on your phone, you can follow her journey through a continuous flow of information, in this experimental documentary story, presented to the viewer via WhatsApp. It is a 30-hour narrative about a bus trip many women make every week to their loved ones, who are detained far away from home in upstate New York.

The viewer receives messages at the time things occur. If Amanda leaves the Big Apple at eleven o’clock PM, the viewer is sent images of her departure at that exact time. Every time something happens or can be told, the viewer receives a message in image and sound – thus gradually becoming part of Amanda’s world. The viewer listens to her observations and reflections, watches how the landscape flashes past the bus and gets to know more and more about the weal and woe of Amanda and her fellow passengers. Owing to the intimacy of the mobile phone, this completely alien, encapsulated world of the women on the bus comes very close.


Concept Developer
Interface & Interaction Design
Technical realisation

Title: A Temporary Contact
Year: 2017
Duration : 20 minutes
Category: Interactive project
Edition: NFF 2018


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