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Biidaaban: First Light VR (Welcome Week 2019)

Nathan Phillips square immersed in vegetation

*NOTE: The VR installation runs every 15 minutes. Drop-ins welcome. If you would like to reserve your spot, you can pre-register and select your preferred time slot*

A virtual reality exhibition, exclusive during the undergraduate Welcome Week at McMaster University. Open to both grad and undergrad students, faculty, staff, and community members.

Aug 27, 2019
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (drop in or pre-register online)
Black Box Theatre, L.R. Wilson Hall,
McMaster University

This interactive virtual reality creation presents a future Toronto reclaimed by nature: crumbling skyscrapers being threaded through with vegetation, flooding in Nathan Phillips Square, and canoes instead of cars. While unseen narrators comment or ask questions in Wendat, Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Anishinaabe (Ojibway), text appears in those Indigenous languages, accompanied by English translations. The effect is mesmerizing, and deeply moving — as if a sci-fi movie was made from a script of heartbreaking poetry. Biidaaban: First Lightembodies the unique vision of its Genie-award-winning Anishinaabe director Lisa Jackson, in collaboration with 3D artist Mathew Borrett.

With a background in documentary, Lisa Jackson expanded into cross-genre projects, including VR, animation, musicals and performance art. Biidaaban: First Light, made with the National Film Board, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2018 to rave reviews.  She is currently working  on Transmissions, a large scale, immersive audio-visual installation on the power of Indigenous languages which will be presented in Hamilton by The Socrates Project.