Put on the Hololens and take a walk, stopping to meet holograms of numerous Muslim college students of distinct identities as they are questioned by an unseen interlocutor. Watch and listen as these interrogations become startlingly intimate encounters between you and them.
Augmented Reality allows for the viewer to deeply empathize with the characters since they appear to be in the same room.
Whenever you look at the holograms, they share rich personal stories. Stories of childhood, family, work, faith, lack of faith, war, privilege, sex, drugs, youth, love, and a life far from home. Stories of ideologies from complex humans that contradict each other and themselves.
Each viewer has a completely unique experience of the narrative depending on how they navigate through the stories.
This documentary will be "interactive" because every viewer has the ability to walk around and naturally interact with the holograms as they share their stories. Depending on your interests, you might spend more time with certain holograms and also encounter them in different orders.
Your support on Kickstarter is the reason why cutting edge projects of this nature can come from independent creators and not just multi billion dollar corporations.
Augmented Reality work of this nature is really expensive to produce. "Asad & Assad" requires $120,000 to come to life. We need this money to buy further development equipment, travel to interview locations and pay the team of creators dedicating their time to the project. We're looking at Kickstarter for only the first $20,000.
We are currently in conversation with multiple investors to help raise the rest. However, it's only with your support that we'll be able to produce a polished demo that will make us eligible for further investment.
Asad J. Malik was born in Abbotabad Pakistan, the same town where Osama Bin Ladin was killed in an operation by the US Navy Seals in 2011.
Now that he’s in the US for college, being randomly selected for secondary screenings at airports has become a personal reality, one he knows he shares with others perceived as Muslim.
Things only escalated when two FBI special agents traveled to his college in rural Vermont to interrogate him after an impulsive trip to war ridden Libya in 2016. Now as the political discourse around Muslims in the US becomes more complicated, it becomes hard to ignore his inevitable connection with the brutal Syrian president for their nearly identical names. Two polar identities in the same “Muslim” basket.
Cultural augmentation a displacement of holograms that allows viewers to access what their environment would regard as contentious, controversial opinions. 1RIC’s latest project “Holograms from Syria” used the Hololens to display images from the Syrian Civil war in safe and familiar spaces in the US. It was featured in multiple international publications.
Read about 1RIC's past work in the press:
ASAD & ASSAD is made possible by a diverse & dedicated team of international college students who are engaged with cutting edge practices in their respective fields.
We're also honored to have Kaleidoscope as our executive producer.
While we recognize the novelty of this new medium, we believe firmly that the most important aspect of the project lies in the voices we feature.
We have already interviewed three millennial students attending college in the US: Roua Sibai from Homs, the capital of the Syrian revolution; Zubair Siddiqui from the bustling metropolis of Karachi, in Pakistan; and Huma Javeed, an "Ismaili Muslim" from the scenic valley of Chitral. These incredibly compelling personal narratives highlight the diversity of experiences among perceived Muslim identities. We are presently working to include two additional interviews to round out what we already have.
These interviews are brought to life with high quality spatial sound and 3D volumetric capture provided by the partnership we’ve developed with Brooklyn-based startup Depthkit.
The grid based abstraction is a reference to Muslim bodies constantly being scanned and surveilled.
The project came into being when the Sundance Institute got in touch with Asad J. Malik, encouraging him to submit work to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.
Our primary focus is on developing an experience that uses the high end augmented reality capabilities of the Microsoft Hololens to display interactive holograms in an exhibition format in festivals like Tribeca and SXSW.
We would also be hoping to bring the same experience to museums like LACMA and SFMOMA. Eventually the project would be available for over 500 million users to experience through an iPhone app that utilizes the newly released ARKit.
We’re convinced that the strength of the project lies in allowing the viewer to host and learn from a hologram of someone very ideologically distant from them in their living room.
For more information about the project or press inquiries please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
With your support "Asad & Assad" is pioneering a new form of content: non fiction augmented reality storytelling. Although we've already made progress and thought through timelines, creating something so new always comes with unforeseen challenges. We believe that in order to create something truly compelling we need to make mistakes and learn from them.
What this means is that Asad & Assad may take time to complete. We are determined to keep you up to date with frequent progress reports as we explore and build new practices to create this work. We hope you come along with patience and excitement as we sail unchartered seas.
- Asad J. MalikLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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