An Ayahuasca Journey in Virtual Reality

The 17-minute "mixed-reality" work 'Awavena' melds augmented reality, 360-degree film footage, and VR to tell the story of the sacred brew.
September 5, 2018, 6:43pm
Ayahuasca brewing. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Since Ayahuasca, a hallucinogenic brew native to indigenous Amazonian communities, came into mainstream consciousness, the ancient ritual has often been stripped of its sacred tradition and painted as a recreational psychedelic. But a new "mixed-reality" film project called Awavena is aiming to give outsiders a better understanding of the drink's spiritual roots.

Working alongside Tashka, chief of the Amazon's Yawanawá tribe, filmmakers Nicole Newnham and Lynette Wallworth used augmented reality, 360-degree film footage, and virtual reality to give viewers an immersive Ayahuasca experience, one that's rooted in the rainforest and tradition from which it came. On today's episode, VICE staff writer Nicole Clark explains how revolutionary the project was made.

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