Besieged: A 360° experience in Sudan’s Nuba Moutains

Posted by Scovia Wilson on March 20th, 2017

By IRIN, a news agency specialised in reporting humanitarian crises, and TFM Digital, which delivers digital, cultural and media projects with conflict affected communities.

Film Background

The people of the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan live on the fault line between Sudan's largely Arab north and its predominantly black African south. Political and economic power in Sudan has historically been in the hands of a northern, Arabised elite. Since independence, the country's marginalised communities have tried to resist that domination. The Nuba, numbering around 1.5 million, are a group of majority Muslim peoples, proud of their "African-ness". They have faced long-standing discrimination as a consequence.

When the Second Sudanese Civil War erupted in 1983, the alternative message of equality and inclusion of the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) and its charismatic commander-in-chief John Garang resonated with Nuba leaders. By 1987, an alliance had formed. Garang took the fight north through South Kordofan. The Nuba Mountains became a key rebel stronghold, and the government responded with a scorched-earth strategy that bore hallmarks of genocide. Jihad was declared, and a fatwa made it clear that Nuba Muslims were not to be spared either. A fragile peace took shape between the north and the south in 2005, which led to a referendum and independence for South Sudan in 2011. But the contested areas of Blue Nile and South Kordofan were left under Khartoum's control. Promised consultations on greater autonomy failed to materialise. As the world applauded South Sudan's independence in July 2011, bombs were once again falling on the people of the Nuba Mountains. The conflict that still grips South Kordofan today was well under way.

About The Project

This 360º film project was a collaboration between local Nuban organisations and foreign media. Directed and produced by London-based production company TFMdigital with support from Pax Christi, the film gives voice to the lived experience of people besieged in the Nuba Mountains. The narration of Besieged: A 360º experience in Sudan's Nuba Mountains is composed of interview excerpts from more than a dozen civilians. The narration was recorded by the South Sudan Theatre Organization in Juba, South Sudan involving Sudanese and South Sudanese actors. The scenes themselves are of real civilians in real situations and were filmed on location by Transformedia near the front lines of the conflict in the Nuba Mountains.

How To Watch In VR and 360

360º video allows you to be immersed in a scene, almost as if you were there.You can watch 360º videos in three ways: by simply altering the position of your phone or tablet or by using your mouse to drag around the scene on your computer. To really bring the content to life, you can use a virtual reality headset. You can experience Besieged: A 360º experience in Sudan's Nuba Mountainsby using the YouTube app on headsets such as Oculus Rift or Samsung Gear. You can also use Google Cardboard.

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How to watch on your phone without a VR headset

  1. Open the YouTube app on your smartphone and search for the IRIN News channel.
  2. Once you've selected the IRIN 360º video you would like to watch, turn your phone horizontally so it becomes full screen.
  3. Select the three vertical dots in the top right corner of the screen, then select Quality.
  4. Choose the maximum resolution for the best viewing experience. Now you can physically move your phone around or use your fingers to shift the perspective of the camera.
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How to watch on your desktop

  1. Open YouTube on your internet browser and search for the IRIN News channel.
  2. Once you've selected the IRIN 360º video you would like to watch, select the Settings icon in the bottom right corner, click Quality and choose the highest resolution. 
  3. Select the Full Screen icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. 
  4. Now use your mouse or trackpad to shift the perspective of the camera by clicking and dragging.
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How to watch on your VR headset

  1. Open the YouTube app on your smartphone and search for the IRIN News channel.
  2. Once you've chosen the IRIN 360º video you would like to watch, select the Settings icon in the bottom right-hand corner, click Quality and choose the highest resolution.
  3. Click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of the screen and select the 'Cardboard' icon. You'll see the layout of the screen split into two circles.
  4. Turn your phone horizontal and place itinto your headset.
Tags: sudan, film, vr, get involved

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