Jasmine Smith comes home to Harlem, New York City after being locked up for 15 years. Today is her first day as a “free person” and she returns to her grandmother's brownstone where she grew up. How will Jasmine reconnect with family and rebuild her life after prison?
Women are the fastest growing incarcerated population in the US. 80% of women in jails are mothers and two thirds are women of color. In this 25-minute, room-scale interactive VR experience that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, you can walk around Jasmine’s home in Harlem. Through 360° videos and audio snippets you can get access to Jasmine’s past memories and possible future as she navigates her life post-incarceration.
Jasmine is a composite character whose story is based on the real life experiences of formerly incarcerated women from Women’s Prison Association (WPA), who were also collaborators on the project. “Working with AJ Contrast was a unique experience because we, as systems-involved women, were sought out as experts in our own stories,” said Elaine Daly, WPA graduate and Still Here collaborator.
For Still Here VR, you will need to set up a play area of around 3.5 m x 2.5 m, and have a chair, which you will use throughout the experience.
Follow the instructions in the headset to place your physical chair in the exact spot of the virtual glowing chair in VR.
You will SIT DOWN on the chair to trigger 360º videos and STAND UP to walk around Jasmine’s apartment.
Jasmine’s apartment is divided into four zones. There will be two GLOWING OBJECTS in each zone and you can trigger the objects by GAZING at them.
You should sit down on the glowing chair after you explore the interactive objects, and stand up every time a 360º video ends.
Still Here VR is part of the larger groundbreaking project about incarceration, erasure and gentrification. Described by Essence as a “Must-See,” Still Here comprises three parts - interactive VR, audio with AR, and a photo gallery. It is produced by AJ Contrast – an immersive storytelling and media innovation studio of Al Jazeera Media Network, one of the largest and most diverse global operations broadcasting news to 310 million households in more than 100 countries.
To watch Still Here AR, download the app for your iPad Pro here: https://apple.co/36plCxr
To browse the online photo gallery that showcases the lives of real women whose stories informed Still Here, visit: https://stillhere.ajcontrast.com/
Learn more about Still Here and AJ Contrast here: https://ajcontrast.com/still-here