CSW is thrilled to feature Nonny de la Peña in our Feminism and the Senses Event Series.
Nonny de la Peña (named “The Godmother of Virtual Reality” by The Guardian and Engadget) is a pioneer of virtual reality and immersive journalism. de la Peña is a Yale Poynter Media Fellow and a graduate fellow in Interactive Media Arts at the University of Southern California. As the founder and CEO of Emblematic Group she has collaborated with Planned Parenthood, the True Colors Fund, the New York Times, and other organizations to create virtual reality experiences that have social impact because of their capacity to generate empathetic responses to real-life events. Recent Emblematic projects include:
Across the Line: Produced in partnership with the Planned Parenthood Foundation of America, this piece helps viewers understand what some women go through to access abortion services. The experience places viewers in the shoes of a patient entering a health center. Using real audio gathered at protests, scripted scenes, and documentary footage, the film is a powerful multimedia depiction of the toxic environment that many health care providers, health center staff, and patients must endure to provide or access care on a daily basis.
After Solitary: After Solitary, a collaboration between Emblematic Group and PBS’ investigative series FRONTLINE, uses photogrammetry and volumetric video capture to tell the story of 39-year-old Kenny Moore, a recently released inmate who spent years in solitary confinement. It takes viewers inside the Maine State Prison to hear the harrowing story of Kenny’s time in solitary and what happened when he got out.
Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story: Out of Exile is a powerful reminder of the kind of hostility faced by so many in the LGBTQ community. The piece shines a light on a terrible statistic: forty per cent of homeless youth in America identify as LGBTQ, with the majority coming from communities of color. When Daniel Ashley Pierce is confronted about his sexual orientation by his family in a “religious intervention,” the scene turns dramatic and violent. This piece, created in partnership with the True Colors Foundation, recreates the event using video captured by Daniel at the time.
de la Peña’s other projects include the MacArthur funded Gone Gitmo, a virtual Guantanamo Bay Prison; Cap & Trade, an interactive exploration of the carbon markets built with Frontline World and CIR; Ipsress which investigates detainees held in stress positions; and Three Generations, the Games for Change winner on the California eugenics movement. A graduate of Harvard University, she is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker with twenty years of journalism experience including as a correspondent for Newsweek Magazine and as a writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Premiere Magazine, and others.
Nonny de la Peña will give a talk on her work and on gender issues in the tech industry. Attendees are also invited to sign up for the opportunity to experience her virtual reality work before the talk. A limited number of spots will be available and sign-up details are forthcoming.
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