Step into the lives of others and explore documentaries in entirely new ways at DocFest's Alternate Realities exhibition.
Alternate Realities features innovative, immersive and interactive works of non-fiction storytelling. It includes virtual reality experiences, digital games, and short films drawing on artificial intelligence. It's all about taking you into other people's worlds and making you part of their stories in imaginative ways, through the latest technology.
The main Alternate Realities venue for 2022 is Site Gallery (booking advised), while the Studio within Site Gallery will be a space for rest with artworks that encourage wellbeing. Other Alternate Realities venues include the Workstation, which will host a virtual reality library. There'll also be immersive individual works at Sheffield Hallam Performance Lab, Sheffield Town Hall, the brand new Events Central, and arts space The Kurious within Kommune food hall.
Read on for our highlights of some of the works on show as part of Alternate Realities 2022. And see our Sheffield DocFest picks for our guide to the films in the wider festival programme.
- A TikTok War
The Arab Spring, the Syrian civil war, and now the invasion of Ukraine – the world is viewing conflict with startling intimacy on social media. A TikTok War shows how users of the platform are chronicling events and their outcomes in Ukraine.
- Safe Space
Safe Space edits together footage of ballroom culture from the time of the AIDS epidemic in 1990s New York, when it was a form of resistance for trans and queer people of colour. The film is overlaid with contemporary statements from LGBTQIA+ refugees sourced from the internet and voiced by an AI.
Roam the world’s oldest tropical rainforest in this VR project. Gondwana simulates a hundred years of climate change impact in Australia’s ancient Daintree rainforest, as the awe-inspiring ecosystem degrades over the course of the exhibition in line with real-world climate data projections.
A digital game examining the online policing of sex workers and marginalised bodies, created by a team of sex workers and allies.
- A Rest Guide for a Tired Nigerian Artist
A selection of printed guides and podcasts featuring advice from five Nigerian artists on how to find peace in a troubled world.