An immersive new virtual reality film featuring the voices and experiences of people who live on or near the border in Ireland has been unveiled.
The unique film is the output of a community engagement programme that invited people to share sights, sounds and stories of life in border areas after taking part in the 100 Shared Stories strand of the project.
The programme was delivered by the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) and Nerve Centre throughout the spring and summer of 2021, with participants developing skills in sound recording and creative writing, while also gaining an understanding of PRONI’s archives and how they are used to preserve and examine shared history.
The group then received their own virtual reality kit in the post and learned how virtual reality can be used as a modern day storytelling tool.
Through the programme they were invited to select a meaningful location on or near the border in Ireland, to write a haiku poem about it and to record sounds associated with the place.
360° images of each of the locations were captured and pinpointed on an interactive map with the recorded stories and sounds providing a bespoke soundtrack to each location. The completed film is a snapshot of different lived experiences from people along the 310 mile border, and reflects locations and memories important to each contributor.
Margaret Masaba from Strabane who took part in the project said, “It was such an amazing experience to take part in this project. I’ve met wonderful people who have taken me through a journey of virtual reality which I knew nothing about.
“The highlight of the project is that we get to share with you the sounds of everyday life at the border and to share our stories.”
The programme was also delivered in partnership with the Rural Community Network to ensure people from remote border areas had a chance to take part.
For more information on the project visit bordersounds.org