Raffaella Fryer Moreira
Guarani and Kaiowá Virtual Museum: Experimental Approaches to Collaborative Heritage
How can we learn about other cultures in innovative ways? This talk showcases the Guarani and Kaiowá VR Museum project, an ongoing collaboration between anthropologists, 3D modellers, computer scientists and Indigenous shamans which seeks to document, preserve, and present Guarani and Kaiowá culture in a VR Museum Experience. Responding to community concerns about the loss of their cultural heritage - in the face of climate change and large-scale agriculture - and the lack of access to the tools and resources for cultural heritage management, UCL Multimedia Anthropology Lab (UCL MAL) have been working hard to create 3D models of all sacred objects that the community identified as important and present them in a state-of-the-art Virtual Reality experience that is curated by Guarani and Kaiowá shamans themselves.
This project invites us to reflect on the role of digital technology in museums and anthropology and asks us to consider new ways of learning about other cultures. At the same time, by making 3D models of Guarani and Kaiowá magical objects, shamans tell us that the 3D models themselves have magical power too. In this way, the project not only asks us what digital technologies can do to help Guarani and Kaiowá communities preserve and curate their own heritage, but also what Guarani and Kaiowá shamans can teach us about the power of the digital.