Colonial Rotterdam, Netherlands
Commissioned by the Municipality of Rotterdam, ArtiShock has developed this Mixed Reality app ‘Colonial Rotterdam’. The app and the underlying framework (CityTourXR) was developed to make the colonial- and slavery past visible at various locations in Rotterdam with the insights and technology of today. The app is part of a broad curriculum for primary, secondary and secondary vocational education.
The city of Rotterdam as we know it today has become so partly due to colonialism and slavery in the past. That history works through in the present. The city is committed to making the divided past a future that connects Rotterdammers. For this purpose -among other things- three books have been published that form the basis for the information in the app.
Multiple Augmented Reality experiences are integrated into this -publicly available- app. In addition to Virtual Reality, there is 360-degree footage, videos and special animations have been integrated. Each location has additional -in-depth- information.
The absence of a building, street or square does not mean that a story has come to an end, cannot be told or has never existed. The absence of a building, street or square only implies that the story must be told from other sources.*
*From the book: Het koloniale verleden van Rotterdam, (red. Gert Oostindie)
Rotterdam and colonialism
In Rotterdam there are many locations with an origin or reference to a colonial past. Physical routes through this beautiful city allow students (and the general public) to experience this past in a unique way.
From 1600 onwards, some Rotterdam administrators, entrepreneurs and navigators had an important part in Dutch colonialism, in plantations, in slavery and in the slave trade. This app wants to contribute to social awareness around this topic.
The app wants to make the colonial and slavery past visible with the insights and technology of today. In addition to text, sound and images, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality(VR) have also been added.
You can experience a short and long route. The short route is about 3.5 kilometers (and takes about 2 hours). This is indicated on the map using a colored dotted line. You can supplement these (by bike?) With the other locations of the long route on the interactive map.
Virtual Reality Portraits of young urban
Recordings have also been made with Rotterdam young people for this app. The VR part can be discovered with the -specially designed PopupCardboard for this app-. Students and other users of the app can also use a regular Cardboard. This part of the app is intended for the first and second class of secondary education.
“We wanted to make a genuine VR experience. No contrived acting based on made-up stories or role-affirming characters. We wanted real stories from today that children can draw strength from. It gives an insight into how young people from Rotterdam deal with their ethnic background.”
If you have your own mobile VR viewer, such as a Google cardboard, you can probably use it.
The PopUpCardboard to experience the VR portraits
“We wanted to make a genuine VR experience from ArtiShock. No contrived acting based on made-up stories or role-affirming characters. We wanted real stories from today that children can gain strength from.”
The Colonial Rotterdam app was created by ArtiShock Productions with the CityTourXR platform. This platform offers space for companies, organisations and governments to independently create and manage multimedia content.
Other cities can also use the CityTourXR platform. The platform offers the possibility to create multiple extensive routes and share information about a city or about events. Whether it’s a historical or cultural tour or a nature trail, the platform offers a wide range of possibilities.
Advantages of the CityTourXR platform:
- Accessibility: The entire content of the app can be pre-loaded before the tour, so users don’t need a mobile data plan;
- Branding: The app can be designed in your own style and branding, allowing you to have a unique identity;
- Augmented and Virtual Reality: We provide support for professional (interactive) elements such as animated films and greenscreen recordings. We also develop customized AR and VR experiences;
- Content Management: You can independently create and manage textual and visual content through a user-friendly content management system;
- Multiple routes: You can create multiple routes within the same app;
- No additional costs: Once published, there are no maintenance, subscription, or other costs unless you choose to add them;
- Development time: The average production time, including communication, is approximately 3 months.
- We also offer the possibility to take a simple AR city tour. Then you can independently create routes and post Augmented Reality content. That then happens within an existing app- environment. However, no branding is possible, there are recurring subscription fees + any charges depending on usage.
Vision on technology
Augmented and Virtual Reality and emerging visual technologies will profoundly change the way we perceive our environment and organise our social and professional lives. It will become an extension of ourselves and our senses. ArtiShock develops these intelligent technical-visual solutions. These contribute to a positive way people experience their environment.