The Distance Between Us



"Despite technology connecting more people than ever, the space for debating polarising issues seems to be shrinking. Whether it's refugees, migration, Me Too, Trump or Brexit, it's easier to stay in a bubble with those who agree with us, than to hear alternate views.

Noticing an ever widening chasm in public discourse, documentary filmmaker Aela Callan and war correspondent Kate Parkinson teamed up to find ways that technology and storytelling can be used to bridge entrenched divides.

The result is "The Distance Between Us", an exploration of how state of the art, virtual reality technology and documentary content can be used to break echo chambers and stimulate constructive, real world conversations.

Using Design Foundations funding, they will research how interactive storytelling in VR can be used to foster understanding and common ground between people who hold opposing views. Their experiments will allow them to develop deep insights about their target audience, and design a narrative journey that strengthens software development of the experience.

The final goal for "The Distance Between Us" is to realise a room scale, social VR experience at major conferences, festivals and events. This will be a VR installation unique in the way it unites several people inside the VR world, merging hard-hitting storytelling with levels of interactivity usually reserved for game play.

Drawing on their combined 30 years of storytelling experience, Aela and Kate co-founded "Also Known As", a virtual reality storytelling, research and design studio which collaborates with software developers, game designers, artists and live performers to realise game changing immersive experiences."

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