On Friday 7th December 2018 the British Library’s Endangered Archive Programme handed over the digital files of the Djenne Manuscripts to the Malian Government in a ceremony sponsored by the British Embassy in Bamako.
What makes this particularly significant is that the heritage of Mali remains in acute danger, with the insurgency in the North of the country spreading and groups affiliated with Al Qaeda continuing to operate in the central region, which includes Djenne. Visits from scholars or tourists to the city have become almost impossible.
For the last two years mCubed having been working with the Djenne community, using the latest digital technologies from drone imaging to immersive 360 photography, to create a digital ‘Djenne’ experience - on line, in virtual reality and in an augmented reality display.
This not only provides a more comprehensive experience of the place, and its community with both its tangible and intangible heritage, but also helps to put the significance of the British Library’s Endangered Archive Programme in Mali in context and helps with its interpretation.
Such immersive technologies are a powerful way of bringing us closer to people and places; building both understanding and empathy. If you would like to experience the tour yourself, please click on the links below:
We think that this approach piloted in Mali allowing heritage experts in the capital, Bamako to receive a briefing on the threats to 'heritage in the frontline' from a member of the affected community
, using Virtual Reality technologies is a glimpse into what will become common practice in the future. See the briefing https://poly.google.com/view/fecEYIdUHsB
Visit the market square of Djenne in 360 Video
The role of immersive experiences in public outreach and advocacy is explored in this blog written by the team http://www.elrha.org/hif-blog/immersive-technology-public-outreach-advocacy/
Virtual reality (VR) can create compelling and interactive reconstructions. It can also play a valuable role in both induction training for professionals through to a richer classroom experience for school children. This is explored in this blog written by the team/