Six interactive, non-fiction, transmedia projects have received grants for the 2012 TFI New Media Fund totaling $400,000. The fund, which is in partnership with the Ford Foundation, focus on projects that cover issues of contemporary social justice and equality.
Exploring everything from Guatemalan street gangs to rural West Virginia community issues to collaborative problem-solving facilitated by a robot named Laika, these six projects from around the world will be awarded between $50,000 and $100,000 apiece, with funding effective immediately. Grantees will also take part in regular peer-to-peer meetings as well as a lab to help them develop their projects and build an audience.
The 2012 TFI New Media Fund projects are:
Alma, A Tale of Violence
Key Participants: Miquel Dewever-Plana, Isabelle Fougère, Hugues Micol, Sebastien Brothier
Description: In a moving confession of a former member of one of Guatemala’s most violent gangs, Alma tells her story in a unique interactive web/tablet concept in which the viewer moves between two screen levels, a face-to-face experience and a visual evocation of Alma’s recollections.
Key Participants: Theo Rigby, Kate Mclean
Description: Immigrant Nation uses personal narratives to give users multiple entry points into the divisive issue of immigration in the U.S. Through the intersection of documentary film, user-generated storytelling and social mapping, this project provides a platform for users to create, share and explore personal immigration stories.
Key Participants: Lance Weiler, Janine Saunders
Description: Laika’s Adventure is an ongoing, experiential, educational story world that plugs into Connected Sparks, an online social change platform for children. Laika, a traveling robot, facilitates collaborative problem solving among students, teachers, storytellers and a global audience. At its core, Laika’s Adventure looks to harness the power of storytelling, technology and creativity to inspire micro-actions of change.
New Day New Standard
Key Participants: Anjum Asharia, Abdulai Bah, Leo Burd, Sasha Constanza-Chock, Alexandra García, Becky Hurwitz, Marisa Jahn, Christine Yvette Lewis, Marc Shavitz
Description: New Day New Standard is a new media public art project bridging advocacy and narrative by telling the story of a new movement for workers’ rights. Created by REV-, New Day New Standard involves a creative Spanish/English audio campaign, accessible by web and telephone call-in, that informs domestic workers and their employees about the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights.
Key Participants: Elaine McMillion, Jeff Soyk, Tricia Fulks, Eric Lovell, Michelle Miller, Megan Bowers
Description: Hollow is a hybrid community participatory project and interactive documentary that addresses the issues of rural America through the eyes of Southern West Virginians.
Key Participants: Chris Johnson, Bayeté Ross-Smith, Kamal Sinclair, Hank Willis Thomas, Jesse Williams
Description: Question Bridge: Black Males is an innovative transmedia art project that facilitates a dialogue between a critical mass of Black men from diverse and contending backgrounds; and creates a platform for them to represent and redefine Black male identity in America. Question Bridge will use a mobile application and robust website to create sustainable extensions of the current video installation in order to reach a wider audience.
The jury awarding the grants consisted of Frank Rose (author of The Art of Immersion: How the Digital Generation Is Remaking Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the Way We Tell Stories), Steve Coulson (Creative Director, Campfire), Andrew Devigal (Multimedia Editor, The New York Times), Marc Schiller (Founder of Wooster Collective and CEO of BOND Strategy and Influence), Ian Inaba (Executive Director of Citizen Engagement Lab), Aina Abiodun (Founder and CEO, StoryCode) and Lina Srivastava (Strategist, Activist, Transmedia Designer, Writer).