Tamar: Virtual Reality Experience
Tamar is an immersive VR journey coupled with a conversational agent that takes viewers through an entity’s experience of anguish and empowerment. Tamar narrates a story of their fight against sexual violence, their world consists of two aspects, Vedana and Samatha.
Vedana is a recreation of Tamar’s traumatic incident. Traumatic experiences make people hopelessly stuck in the past due to triggering memories. Vedana takes you to the room depicting Tamar’s traumatic episode - it is filled with their flashbacks and triggers related to the incident. The room consists of a bed with bloodstains, a recreation of their perpetrator and a mirror, all in a hue of red in an attempt to replicate a grim and sinister environment. As the camera moves around the room, there are instances where the viewer can get a glimpse of the windows that showcase a contradictory and a more liberating environment.
Eventually, the camera turns towards the windows and enters ‘Samatha’, an alternate space that Tamar considers serene and tranquil. The space is determined to take Tamar away from Vedana’s anguish and into a safe and inspiring space. Samatha is a spirited other-worldly forest, consisting of mystical orbs floating in a lavender shaded fog. Samatha is a visual representation of Tamar’s freedom. As the camera pans through Samatha it reaches a small puddle of water with a reflection of a red moon signifying the dichotomous relationship between Vedana and Samatha.
After the VR experience, the viewers are given an option to speak to Tamar directly. Tamar’s chatbot narrates the story further and explains their creation and journey. This allows the user to understand the context of the experience better. Additionally, the chatbot also nudges the user to create their own Samatha. As a virtual entity, Tamar is aware that it is communicating to someone from the physical world.