Get up close and inside the lives of the oppressed in India

A life teaching experience through VR documentaries

VR has a lot of applications and the foremost is gaming. But India doesn’t suffer from lack of gaming, it suffers from lack of awareness.

Enter ElseVR, a quarterly magazine/channel that brings stories based on the real world problems of the people of India. Through Virtual Reality, they wish to grant the audience an entry “into” the story. The story of people who face issues far beyond the problems of city slickers.

A non-fiction VR platform from Memesys Culture Labs, each story facilitates collaborations between formidable filmmakers, writers and designers to amplify the power of narrative.

The magazine is for free on their Android app and website.

And if you live in Mumbai, luck is on your side. You can get to meet the folks from ElseVR at Tuning Fork (Khar) who take you through the VR experience of the movies and tell you other insightful details about them. This Sunday special is on 28 May at 3.30pm. Entry rates are 200 (with full cover).

 

God is a feminist

A group of female activists combat the regressive patriarchy that bars their entry into the temple of Trimbakeshwar, India. Challenging the notion of impurity of women, and an archaic 450 year old tradition, they seek to exercise their right to pray, against the will of the system and the people.

Watch Right to Pray here on YouTube

That’s Coal-d

Korba, a small district in Central India is where a fourth of India’s coal is mined, mostly for producing electricity. Mining over decades has left the land ravaged, the air and water severely contaminated and the lives of its people, disrupted. Through the story of a tribal woman who is set to lose her land and a local activist fighting for justice, the film makes a comment on the present day development paradigm. Those who pay the price for development seldom benefit from it.

Watch When land is Lost, will we eat coal here on YouTube

Might need a submarine

The film moves through the sorrowful landscape of the people affected by the most devastating flood since 1987, in Bihar, a state just below the Himalayas. Ever since the construction of the Farrakha Barrage in 1975, the river has gradually swollen to mammoth proportions, eating away villages every year during the rains. In 2016, in the wake of rising water levels, panicking villagers cut away a portion of a small mud dam, leading to a torrential burst of water that inundated thousands of villages downstream. With houses destroyed, crops lying 15 feet below water, the film captures life as it goes on in a partly submerged eco-system, showing how dams are the trigger of a manmade disaster.

Watch Submerged here on YouTube

This will Moo-ve you

In July 2016, four Dalit men were attacked for doing their traditional job - skinning a dead cow. After a Hindutva party came to power in India in 2014, the cow has been recast as a sacred animal, and violence against Dalits and Muslims - traditionally consumers of beef - has increased proportionally. The thrashing of the four Dalits shocked civil society and Dalits into action, prompting them to take out a protest march across 400 kilometres, over 10 days, to the original site of violence. The march itself was subject to more violence from Hindutva groups. The film enters the journey of the protestors and gives an immersive account of the politics, confrontations and intrigues of a protest march.

Watch Caste is not a rumor here on YouTube