Women in Afghanistan and Immersive Stories

by , , and | Sep 21, 2023 | Community, Concept, Extended Reality, Use Case

Figure 1: Carina is a constellation in the southern sky. The CARINA network is “a network constellation, that links stars together, to shine brighter into the darkness of Afghanistan”.

Since the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, the situation for women and girls has steadily deteriorated. Certain clothing such as the hijab is compulsory, girls cannot attend secondary school, young women cannot attend university. They are increasingly excluded from public life, their human rights violated.[1]

But there are women who will not have their lives put on hold by the Taliban.

It happens under the radar. The Transmedia Catalonia Research Group, MediaVerse partner, supports the CARINA network, which offers fundraising support, personal development opportunities and professional guidance to women who worked or continue to work in the humanitarian aid sector in Afghanistan. This was also shared at the Global Week to #Act4SDGs, a mobilization taking place during the UN General Assembly this September. Themes of the event are climate, peace and justice, sustainable food systems, gender equality and inclusion.

Afghan women, e.g., doctors, lawyers or psychologists, who were suddenly prohibited from working, can use the CARINA network to receive personal or professional support, a basic salary to carry out their projects and outreach, and access professional coaching or counseling. They can design, write and apply for funding for their own projects. They are also supported to further their education, such as learning English, or to disseminate the results of their work.

You can collaborate, donate or join the CARINA network here.

Read here for a brief history on women’s rights in Afghanistan by Amnesty International.

As mentioned, Transmedia Catalonia are using MediaVerse to support the CARINA initiative. MediaVerse, among other things, explores immersive storytelling for social inclusion. With our 360° authoring tool Fader, a video presenting the CARINA network and its mission was created.

When creating dissemination material on CARINA, a number of challenges arise especially with respect to protecting the women from the Taliban. For instance, you must not be able to see their faces, identify their names, or track their location. Since MediaVerse is decentralized as a content sharing platform, this protection is ensured. In addition, the Afghan women learnt to use MediaVerse for their purposes and Fader to create 360° videos with automatic subtitles.

Watch the interactive Fader Story on the CARINA network here. Or as a video below:

It is important that the voices of Afghan women are heard.

Figure 2: A group of people holding signs. Photo by Nk Ni on Unsplash.

[1] Cf.: Women in Afghanistan: The Back Story. Amnesty International UK. URL: https://www.amnesty.org.uk/womens-rights-afghanistan-history [accessed 21/09/2023].