The theme of Libraries Week this year was ‘Libraries in a Digital World’. To help celebrate the library at Aquinas got involved in a BBC VR (Virtual Reality) project, allowing students from our Media and Languages departments to explore the possibilities of this exciting, new digital media.
One piece was Nothing to be Written an award-winning 7-minute experience that provided a contemporary response to the stories behind First World War ‘field postcards’. During the First World War millions of multiple choice postcards were sent home by soldiers from the front lines. Nothing except a signature was allowed to be written on the card, communication could only take place through the prescribed phrases. The piece, set to Anna Meredith’s dramatic and haunting choral score, allowed the students to be simultaneously deep in the trenches and in the hallway of a house back in England.
The other was Make Noise an empowering virtual reality experience that put the students in the shoes of the suffragettes themselves. Make Noise, using a combination of VR and voice technology, encouraged the students to follow Emmeline Pankhurst’s advice and ‘make more noise’ as they hummed, sang and shouted to change the virtual world around them.