Storytelling for Social Change: Voices of Genocide2020-04-13T18:28:52+00:00

Storytelling for Social Change: Voices of Genocide

Storytelling For Social Change
Virtual Bird

The Power of Narrative and Immersive VR in “Storytelling for Social Change: Voices of Genocide”

Florida International University’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) has announced a virtual reality (VR) experience pilot program, “Storytelling for Social Change: Voices of Genocide”, that allows audiences to connect emotionally and cognitively to Holocaust survivors through storytelling.

Developed by Raquel Perez, Ph.D., an instructor in FIU’s Global Strategic Communications graduate program, “Storytelling for Social Change: Voices of Genocide” harnesses the power of narrative to help educate and evoke empathy for Holocaust survivors using the oral and visual archives of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

Built by VirtualBird, a mixed reality production company, the immersive experience is designed to only show colors and simple designs thus allowing users to tap into their auditory skills. This intention and approach is unique to VR experiences that generally lead with more visual and image-based environments to simulate the experience.

The purpose of the program is to create an experience focused on creating empathy, preserving memories, honing active listening skills, and sharing information. Users will be able to leave a message for the survivors at the end of the experience, which will be preserved for future generations, extending the life and empathetic impact of the stories.

Beyond the pilot program, the goal is to enlist the support of community partners to expand the project capacity and utilize it to tell the story of other groups, from genocide survivors and disenfranchised groups to socially economically disadvantaged populations.

For more information on the program, contact Dr. Raquel Perez,