A German VR film depicts the war in Ukraine

A German VR film depicts the war in Ukraine

A German VR film depicts the war in Ukraine

Image: NowHere Media

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The VR movie “You Destroy. We create.” shows how Ukrainian artists protect and support their country’s culture in the midst of war.

Russia’s war of aggression has caused immense suffering in Ukraine. Thousands of civilians have been killed and millions have been forced to flee the country. But it is not only human lives that are being destroyed.

The country art and culture are also under attack. And, with them, the identity of Ukraine. According to UNESCO, more than 200 cultural sites have been damaged or destroyed since the start of the war. This includes nearly 100 religious sites, 16 museums, 77 buildings of historical or artistic significance, 18 monuments and 10 libraries.

“You destroy. We Create” tells the story of Ukrainians who risk their lives to protect, rebuild and preserve their country’s art and culture.

Dangerously close to war

Meta funded the approximately 25-minute VR film through the “VR for Good” initiative, which supports immersive storytelling with social impact. Berlin-based XR studio NowHere Media, which also created war-themed project Home After War as part of VR for Good, produced You Destroy. We create.

You destroy. We Create uses a range of immersive film techniques and combines 180 and 360 degree shots with drone footage, photogrammetry scans, and computer animation.

During filming, studio founders Felix Gaedtke and Gayatri Parameswaran grew closer to the war. For example, the team spent time with Ukrainian street artist Gamlet in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, 30 kilometers from the front lines.


“We constantly heard the bombs on the battlefield and were subjected to air raid sirens,” Gaedtke told the Oculus blog. “To see Gamlet and his friends continue to create art and do their work was truly inspiring.”

Cultural life must continue

On another occasion, they accompanied Gamlet to a Kharkiv nightclub welcoming customers for the first time since the war began. The club owner explained that “having oases like this during these difficult times is so important”.

Culture is what brings people together and gives them an identity,” says Gayatri Parameswaran. “And the art is able to express them in a way that nothing else can. These are the questions our main protagonists must have asked during the war. And the answer is what makes the film.

“You destroy, we create. The War on Ukrainian Culture” is available now with Meta Quest 2. You can find the VR movie on Meta Quest TV.

Sources: Oculus Blog, NowHereMedia

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