The world premiere of the first interactive virtual museum of Chernobyl took place in the Kyiv History Museum on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 marking the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. The event, organized by The Farm 51, Open Dialog Foundation, Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, Ukraine’s Image Agency and Global Ukraine, took place under the honorary patronage and with a special participation of the mayor of the city of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko and attracted representatives of local authorities, international diplomatic community, media, civil society and a large number of Ukrainian citizens.
The Chernobyl VR Project, a joint initiative of a Polish company, The Farm 51, and the Open Dialog Foundation is an edutainment application, developed with the use of the Reality 51 technology, allowing each and everyone to visit the immediate area around the disaster’s site, which has been sealed off and closed to the public for years. We get to walk around the virtual exclusion zone and discover it through personal stories of those directly affected by the explosion.
“With this project and thanks to the excellent work of the Farm 51 team, we want to bring one of the most important events from this country and this continent’s history closer to the people through unique and innovative solutions”, explained Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialog Foundation at the premiere in Kyiv.
Volodymyr Viatrovych, Head of the Ukrainian Institute of National Remembrance, underlined the Ukrainian resolve to prevent any such tragic events in the future. In order to find out more about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, its causes and full scale, the Ukrainian INR has declassified a large number of relevant documents.
Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament and Co-Chair of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, underlined the importance of remembering and facing the legacy of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl. “Me and other politicians from the international community would like to assist Ukraine and others in dealing with this difficult legacy”, she said.
Wojciech Pazdur, the Director of Development at The Farm 51, provided a clear explanation of the technology behind the project but also the motivations of the company for using their experience and know-how in the virtual reality technology to create a project with a high social and historic impact.
The official part of the premiere was closed by a passionate and touching testimony of Ruslana, Ukrainian singer and civil activists, one of the faces of Maidan.
Following the opening ceremony, guests were invited to the presentation of the VR technology in the showroom, where they could personally test it and embark on their own journey through the interactive virtual museum of Chernobyl. The Kyiv History Museum is hosting the temporary exhibition of the Chernobyl VR Project, which will stay open till May 10, 2016. During that time, visitors can come and discover the Chernobyl VR Project for free.
The Open Dialog Foundation and The Farm 51 are planning a series of events to promote the project internationally. We are convinced that through the use of new technologies, civil society and private sector can come together to boost social and historic awareness of the society with regards to key events that often affect us directly but that happen in remote areas, to which, for various reasons, we do not always have direct access. An additional positive impact is ensured by the facts that part of the profits coming from the sales of the application will be dedicated to help the victims of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster and their families.
- Check out the photos from the event, HERE.
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