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_They Call Me Asylum Seeker

A web-based interactive experience to immerse the user in the journeys of LGBTQ people who seek safety far away from home.

2020 Tamara Shogaolu
AR,EN Visit the project

Sharing stories like those at the core of the series, in innovative and engaging ways, is of the utmost urgency today. Politically and in the media, we hear so much the rhetoric of “us” versus “them,” but because of technology, our world actually has the potential to be much more “we” than ever before.

Tamara Shogaolu, Director/Creator, to Docubase

How do you choose between the place and the people you love?
They Call Me Asylum Seeker is a web-based interactive experience that follows the stories of four LGBTQ people from the 2011 Egyptian Revolution to the migrant and refugee crisis in Europe today. 

Weaving together an audio documentary with stylized animation, They Call Me Asylum Seeker allows audiences to choose how to experience and navigate through it. They can experience through sight and sound on the web (using a computer and browser) or as an extended 3D audio piece. They can explore the web experience using a trackpad or mouse to engage with the interactive elements, either by scrolling or clicking and dragging. Presented with each chapter of the story, they can choose to listen to each at their own pace or go through the whole experience. They can also pause or revisit certain parts of the stories within each chapter. The user functions as a boat and can interact with certain aspects of the experience, which also has some game qualities to it as well, allowing audiences to play around with that. 

They Call Me Asylum Seeker is the third and final part of Queer In A Time Of Forced Migration, an award-winning, animated transmedia series. Combining intimate, first-person audio accounts with visceral animation in a film (Half A Life), VR experience (Another Dream), and this web interactive, the multiplatform project shares the experiences of queer people of color from Egypt, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia first-hand, with interviews recorded over eight years. 

Project at a Glance :

Language : AR,EN
Country : Netherlands,United States
Year : 2020
Author : Tamara Shogaolu
Producer : Ado Ato Pictures
Team : Ahmed Umar,Lai Jiang,Lauren Dubowski,Marcela Stolzmann,Mohammed Abd El-Hadi,Nada El-Kouny,Nathan Fernee,Riyad Alnwili,Sarah Barett,Tamara Shogaolu
Developers : Arnout Jansen
Designers : Tamara Shogaolu
Topics : Gender & Sexuality,History,Human Rights,Immigration,LGBTQ,Privacy,Transmedia
Technologies : Unity,webGL
Techniques : 3D,Animation,Illustration,interactive
Exhibition Venues : Amsterdam Museum,Open City Doc Fest,Refresh Amsterdam 2020
Funders AND Incubators : Creative Capital Award,Fritt Ord Foundation,NL Film Fonds,Open City Documentary Festival,Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie,Sundance Institute New Frontier Lab Programs
Trailer :

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