With those who remember the First World War almost all gone, the stories of that war and those who fought in it are fading from memory. Those stories are now kept alive by the photos, written accounts and the scraps of film footage that remain. One project is trying to create a more compelling experience, which uses virtual reality (VR) technology to tell a story few would be familiar with.
Empire Soldiers is a VR experience and artistic installation which combines immersive technology with performance to tell the story of soldiers from South Asia who fought for Britain during The Great War.
The creation of Empire Soldiers has been supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which allowed theatre company Metro-Boulot-Dodo (MBD) to create the immersive experience. MBD worked with community volunteers to research stories of the South Asian soldiers and their families in order to present what they hope is a compelling story.
Visitors to the Lightbox Gallery in Leicester, UK will be able to don a VR headset in order to travel back in time to 1918 to see soldiers who are returning from battle. Users will be able to listen to tales of what things were like on the battlefields, and witness emotional reunions with their families upon the return home.
The story then continues to the present day, showing the changes that have occurred over the past 100 years, showing what impact migration has had upon the world.
Empire Soldiers will be available for viewings at the Lightbox Gallery from 30th July, until 3rd August, 2018, which tickets available between Monday and Friday, 11am until 5pm. Further information can be found on the Lightbox Gallery website.
MBD plans to take Empire Soldiers on tour around the UK after its debut at the Lightbox Gallery, though details for this are yet to be confirmed. Further news on Empire Soldiers and other upcoming VR projects will be here on VRFocus.