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_Museum of Austerity

Museum of Austerity is a mixed reality exhibition that explores what happens when state safety nets fail, combining verbal testimony, original music, and volumetric capture.

2021 John Pring,Sacha Wares
EN Visit the project

This piece provides a visual record of invisible deaths associated with UK austerity policies.”

-Sacha Wares, Author, to Docubase


Museum of Austerity is a mixed reality exhibition that preserves memories of public and private events from the Austerity Era. The Austerity Era refers to a decade-long campaign of British government budget-cutting that began in the UK in 2010.

Experienced through Microsoft’s HoloLens 2 headset, Museum of Austerity combines verbal testimony, original music, and volumetric capture inviting audiences to contemplate close-up what happens when state safety nets fail.

This powerful installation combines the skills of theatre/XR director Sacha Wares with the in-depth knowledge of John Pring, editor of Disability News Service. Museum of Austerity offers a comprehensive range of accessibility options including captions, audio description and optional removal of sensitive content. Audiences walk around a gallery space populated with holographic figures representing people whose deaths are associated with changes to the UK benefit system. As they approach a figure, they hear testimony about that person’s life and death from a bereaved relative. As the audience moves away from the figure, they hear archive footage of politicians defending Austerity measures.

Project at a Glance :

Language : EN
Country : United Kingdom
Year : 2021
Author : John Pring,Sacha Wares
Producer : ETT,NT Immersive Storytelling Studio,Trial and Error Studio
Team : Adrian Lee (composer),Leon Baugh (movement)
Developers : All Seeing Eye,Dimension Studio
Designers : Gareth Fry (sound),Miriam Buether (set and costume)
Topics : Austerity,Disability,Human Rights,Politics
Technologies : HoloLens,Unity
Techniques : Archival,Installation,Mixed reality,volumetric capture
Exhibition Venues : BFI LFF,IDFA,Installation at art/media venues
Awards & Nominations : IDFA DocLab Immersive Non-Fiction Award
distribution : Film festivals,Regional Theater Tour
Funders AND Incubators : Arts Council England,Creative XR,Genesis Kickstart
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