The Embodying Empathy Project
Andrew Woolford, et al.
Woolford, Andrew, Adam Muller, and Struan Sinclair. "Risky Times and Spaces: Settler Colonialism and Multiplying Genocide Prevention through a Virtual Indian Residential School." Genocide Studies and Prevention: An International Journal 13, no. 3: 79-96. Available here.
The Embodying Empathy Project investigates the capacity of Virtual Reality (VR) to facilitate the reconciliation and redress of the Indian Residential School System (IRS) for survivors, their communities, and non-Indigenous Canadians. The project leverages the emotional, embodied, and affective capacity of VR to more effectively unsettle Canadian heritage than formalized processes such as the Truth and Reconciliation Committee (TRC). The projects aims, both as a museum-quality dynamic and immersive exhibition at Winnipeg's Indigenous-run, artist-run centre Urban Shaman in 2018 and a smartphone app in development, include making knowledge about IRS experiences widely accessible, promoting reconciliation between IRS Survivors, their families, and their communities, as well as between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians, and to test the hypothesis that immersive media can enhance the representation of complex experiences, including trauma and representational resistance.