A new immersive virtual reality film featuring the voices and experiences of people living on or near the border launched last week.
Created as part of the Making the Future project, the unique film is the result of a community engagement program that invited people to share sights, sounds and stories of life in border areas.
Artists who chose the Fermanagh border included Florence Creighton (Fermanagh), Fintan McPhillips (Monaghan) Francis McCarron (Monaghan) and Mary Conefrey (Leitrim).
The film will be launched by the Making the Future project as part of Good Relations Week 2021 and has been supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV program, managed by the Special EU Programs Body (SEUPB).
The program was delivered by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) throughout the spring and summer, with participants developing skills in sound recording and creative writing, while gaining an understanding of the PRONI archives and of how they are used to preserve and examine shared history. .
The group then received their own VR kit in the mail and learned how VR can be used as a modern storytelling tool.
Through the program, they were asked to choose a significant location on or near the border, to write a haiku poem about it, and to record the sounds associated with the location.
Additionally, 360-degree images of each of the locations were captured and located on an interactive map with the stories and sounds recorded providing a tailored soundtrack to each location.
The completed film is a snapshot of different experiences of people along the 310-mile border, including Fermanagh, and reflects places and memories important to every contributor.
Margaret Masaba, from Strabane, who participated in the project, said: “It was such an amazing experience to participate in this project. I met some great people who took me on a virtual reality journey that I knew nothing about.
“The highlight of the project is that we can share the sounds of everyday life on the border and share our stories. ”
Laura Aguiar, Community Engagement Manager and Creative Producer, who led the project, said: “It has been a real privilege to engage in these life stories near and on the border and make them accessible in such a way. collaborative and immersive.
“The haikus and sounds created by our wonderful participants will offer the audience a plural snapshot of everyday life on either side of this invisible border.
Lynsey Gillespie, Curator at PRONI, said: “PRONI is delighted to work with rural communities and the Rural Community Network. Capturing stories of life along the border helps ensure that the heritage of our place is fully documented for researchers of the future and that PRONI represents as many people as possible. ”
The program was also delivered in partnership with the Rural Community Network to ensure that people in remote border regions had the chance to participate.
The Border Sounds movie and accompanying website featuring a traditional interactive map of each of the locations launched via the Making the Future website on Saturday, September 25.
You can find out more about the project on the website www.makingthefuture.eu.