A new virtual reality series for the World Bank, produced by the creative technologists at S1T2, uses 360-degree technology to highlight the long-term impact of conflict and the prospects of building lasting peace in the Southeast Asia region.
Titled The Price of Conflict, the Prospect of Peace, the series was produced for the World Bank to take audiences into the heart of Asia-Pacific, to the Solomon Islands, nearby Bougainville (Papua New Guinea) and Mindanao in the Philippines where they can use virtual reality to experience firsthand the past, present and future price of conflict.
In order to capture the gravitas of each personal story shared, an intensive live-action filming process was utilised which saw the team spend some weeks in each conflict-affected region documenting, in 360-degrees, the culture, community and personal stories of conflict and its impact.
Creative Director of S1T2, Chris Panzetta, explained how the unique storytelling format that virtual reality offers could be used to create a greater sense of empathy and immersion.
“Virtual reality’s power is that we explore it as an experience, and we are all the product of our experiences. It’s unique ability to communicate holistically comparative to more traditional mediums means we are better engaged, responsive and able to recall the experience much more effectively.”
The first film in the series, shot on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, takes audiences into the life of former militant and now youth worker Andrew Fioga, and jobseeker Charles Maeta, whose stories tell of perseverance and resilience against enormous adversity. The second film takes viewers to remote Konnou, in the far south of Bougainville (Papua New Guinea), to meet Elsie Konovai, a mother of three whose life was ripped apart by inter-community conflict, and Timothy Koluvai, a cocoa farmer that uses the produce as a way of sustaining peace between two previously-warring communities. The third brings us to Mindanao, in the south of the Philippines, to meet Wahab Dagundol, a former soldier turned community leader, and Nhor Momim, a single mother determined to bring water to her community.
Carl Hanlon, World Bank Communications Manager, said virtual reality provides an extraordinary opportunity to take decision-makers away from reports and the bottom line, and into the heart of post-conflict AsiaPacific.“‘The Price of Conflict, The Prospect of Peace’ aims to truly demonstrate to the viewer, in a way only virtual reality can, the length and breadth of the shadow conflict casts. We hope that these films challenge perceptions of life in the aftermath of conflict and encourage strong, continued commitment from the global community to projects in Asia-Pacific that prevent communities returning to conflict.”