FRPxTN (Frisly Soberanis): Fractured Connections

Fractured Connections

Space: CCD (Centro de Cultural Digital), Área polivalente (Trapecio)
On view June 11-15, 2019
Exhibition Opening: Tuesday, June 11, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Virtual Reality stands out for its ability to move us. The Family Reunion Project (FRP) harnesses the power of this technology to organize “reunions” between undocumented immigrants in the United States and their relatives abroad. The FRP consists of three initiatives:

  • Virtual reunions: Our team creates “postcards”—360-degree video messages which are recorded and edited, then shared privately with the families of participants. Our ability to connect participants improves with advances in technology. Soon, our meetings will include live broadcasts and three-dimensional maps.
  • Narration: The FRP is launching a pilot series based on the stories of these reunions. In doing so, we hope to stress the human impact of borders that separate us, and challenge current public discourse on migration. While we know that virtual reunions can never take the place of a face-to-face meeting, we propose this revolutionary tool as a way to pressure the wider public to confront problems facing immigrant communities.
  • Decreasing barriers to Virtual Reality (“VR”): The FRP is developing a platform and curriculum that will give undocumented people the tools to create their own VR content. Those who can travel with the Advance Parole program will be able to borrow equipment and count on our staff to develop and carry out their projects. We want to ensure that the voices of the marginalized form part of VR from the very start.

Fractured Connections is an exhibition of footage and questions—combining environments, stories, and direct messages—collected during the Family Reunion Project’s infancy. The footage and questions are being revisited and repurposed for the public by Tierra Narrative to bring to light the nuance underlying separation and the ethics and concerns surrounding virtual reality.

Biography

FRPxTN is the collaboration between the Family Reunions Project and Tierra Narrative. The FRP is an initiative putting virtual reality to work for undocumented immigrants. Tierra Narrative is a production house dedicated to the creation and curation of new narratives from Central America and the diaspora.