Supporting Change with Immersive Documentaries by Carles Sora

This is an explorative research challenging the social impact that interactive and immersive documentaries can potentially have. I work on a wide scope trying to study how the digital storytelling documentaries can be used to support social issues and enhance social long-term sustainable change.


In a moment where the UN, international NGOs, and other social institutions and consulting companies are investing and designing social campaigns using those new digital formats, it is of paramount importance to get relevant insights about the impact that these projects are having. Concepts as compassion, empathy and social impact have been used very often in an unclear way by the VR industry, giving a superficial and a too much deterministic definition of them. Their models of production, transmedia strategies, participative creation and reception will be studied.


The main focus of this project will be the scientific and social understandings of the concept of empathy, in order to explore its capabilities in the context of digital documentaries. A theoretical approach will drive this research but also practice work will be done. I will work designing an artistic piece that will engage conceptual discussion around emotions, memory, silence throught the lens of empathy. This work will be materialized both as an interactive installation and also an online platform. The final aim of this research is to discuss –┬átheoretically and practically- the potential that this medium has for social change.