Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon launches in South America

June 1, 2017

We’re very excited to announce that Munduruku: The Fight to Defend the Heart of the Amazon is launching at the Centro Cultural Correios in São Paulo today with the public being able to view the experience from tomorrow, 2nd June. The experience features fully immersive VR pods from multisensory storytellers The Feelies, which allow users to experience the film with unique sensory triggers written as a single combined narrative with the 360-degree footage.

The multisensory pods, designed by Mark Tildesley (designer of the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony) and experience have had an entire installation built around them for this exhibition, featuring living plants and a photography exhibition.  The experience will be  open to the public until the 25th June and marks the first ever multisensory VR experience in Brazil, the five pods have already attracted over 600 bookings ahead of the launch.

The Feelies collected data for their immersive pods by performing a sensory mapping of the Sawré Muybu area, including taking a perfumer to take in the scents of the forest.  The data harnessed was used to create six bespoke perfumes, an infrasonic frequency track, humid atmospheres and a narrative of heat and wind. Together, the result is a 14 minute installation that aims to provide users with a truly empathic, unparalleled multisensory virtual reality experience.

Our CEO and founder Anthony Geffen  says: “We’re thrilled that Munduruku will reach such a broad cross-section of audiences across the globe. Through the unique format of VR and in partnership with innovators like The Feelies, the installation transports viewers deep into one of the most remote areas of the Amazon, somewhere they would never ordinarily be able to visit. VR is the perfect tool for allowing viewers to experience first-hand the life of the Munduruku people and gain a true understanding of the challenges they face.”

Following the launch in Brazil the experience will feature at both this year’s Sheffield Doc/Fest and Glastonbury Festival in June. Munduruku  will have its international premiere at the Sheffield Doc/Fest on June 9th as part of the ‘Alternative Realities’ strand, which hosts a variety of cutting-edge virtual reality experiences, interactive documentaries and inspiring talks and sessions. Following the Sheffield debut, Munduruku will significantly feature in Greenpeace’s presence at Glastonbury Festival. From 21st – 25th June, a short version of the film will be available to the public in Greenpeace’s VR Dome, while a face-to-face team will roam the site and the inter-stage area with GearVRs to show the film to festival-goers. Viewers can also experience Munduruku  as a complete sensory recreation in the Glastonbury press tent in the immersive VR pod from The Feelies, whose unique combination of sounds, smells and effects will immediately transport viewers to the Amazon.

John Sauven, Executive Director, Greenpeace UK comments: “The Munduruku had already been resisting the destruction of their ancestral lands for decades when they asked Greenpeace to help communicate their struggle internationally. We have forty years of experience in using technology – primarily our ships but also satellites and other communications tools – to show the public problems normally hidden from them, from whaling and toxic dumping at sea to drilling in the Arctic or logging in the Congo. For this project we’re pushing that to a new level, allowing people anywhere in the world to see, hear, smell and feel what it’s like to eat breakfast in a Munduruku village or fish in the Tapajos river deep in the heart of the Amazon. We’re hoping that when you are intimately familiar with the beauty and diversity of their lands, you will want to help the Munduruku protect them.”

Grace Boyle, Director at The Feelies adds: “It’s been an incredible collaboration with Greenpeace and Alchemy VR, as well as the Munduruku people, as we’ve worked together to create a story that is multisensory from the first concept stage.  Humans are sensory beings, and constantly taking in information through all their senses, so there are huge opportunities to reach people emotionally and effectively by communicating with more of their sensory modalities.  The Amazon is a formidable ecosystem, with a beauty and complexity that we hope to bring to city audiences by using scent, vibration and atmospheric changes in combination with the beautiful 360 video footage, to allow audiences to really connect with the Munduruku and the forests in which they live.”