Funding boost for Holocaust Survivors virtuality project

December 14, 2017 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Melbourne’s The Jewish Holocaust Centre has received a $30,000 grant to support the funding of ‘Walk With Me’ a groundbreaking project aimed at keeping the voices of Holocaust survivors alive for future generations.

John Chaskiel and Danny Ben-Moshe

A spokesperson for the JHC said: “The JHC would like to thank the Premier Daniel Andrews and the Department of Premier and Cabinet for providing the funding which will be managed by Creative Victoria.”

In May 2017, the JHC embarked on an urgent mission using cutting – edge 360° video technology to film Holocaust survivors in their home towns as well as ghettos and concentration camps in which they were imprisoned during the Holocaust. This footage will be used to crea te immersive documentaries enabling visitors to the Centre to walk with the survivors and hear their stories. This will create an intimate connection between visitor and survivor.

With survivors now in their late eighties and nineties it is imperative that this project be completed within the next 12 months.

To ensure the highest quality results, the JHC is partnering with award – winning documentary film – maker Danny Ben Moshe from Identity Films and award – winning VR Producer Jumpgate Virtual Reality.

This Government grant provided seed funding which has enabled the JHC to capture survivor footage.

The spokesperson added: “We are seeking further funds to undertake the production side of the project.

Jayne Josem, Curator and Head of Collections commented: “We are very mindful of not using technology for technology’s sake and have very carefully chosen the immersive 360 degree filming for this vital project. The VR headset shuts the viewer off from the world allowing them to focus on the survivor standing by their side, powerfully describing scenes they witnessed. The survivor takes the viewer on an unforgettable journey through the landscapes of their memories.”

We are aware that Holocaust survivors will not be alive forever and we are blessed to have a few still able to give testimony to our visitors. We believe this technology will assist us in engaging future visitors to the survivors’ stories, because the experience of the immersive film enables the visitor to walk with a survivor through the sites where the atrocities occurred and hear the voice of that survivor recounting his experiences and memories. It is as if they are there with him.”

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