VR living in Roffa

– 2021 – based on a previous co-production with V2_ Lab for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam

This iteration of the project represented a new direction of research focused on employing Virtual Reality to create an interactive archive of people, stories and places that were uprooted and removed from their physical location and, sometimes literally, bulldozed over in the name of further developing the city of Rotterdam. The goal was research how to engage audiences on a personal level and reframe policy- and decision-making around housing with a focus on the very human experiences of those communities displaced from their homes in order to bring about real-estate development within a future vision for the city that is incompatible with their presence there.

In this test I focused on one neighborhood – the Tweebosbuurt – reconstructed as it had been inhabited for decades at the same time as it was in the process of being completely demolished in real-life. Presented in VR alongside this was a guiding narration from one of its former inhabitants, Mustapha, describing the now-razed buildings, his life and his memories there. At the flick of a button audiences could also swap between this reconstruction and a desolate, updated view of the bulldozers and cranes clearing up the rubble after demolishing the same block. This was shortly showcased as a test during the Groot Rotterdams Atelier Weekend in September, 2021, and again at ArsElectronica 2022 in Linz, Austria, alongside research for a new project.