We always say to make the future better we have to learn for our past, and award winning Joy Kogawa (Obasan) has that same hope with East of The Rockies, a new narrative Augmented Reality (AR) interactive story created by Jam3, and based on Kogawa’s experience at the Slocan interment camp in British Colombia, where she, her family and thousands of other Japanese-Canadian citizens were held during WWII.
Written by Kogawa, and narrated by her grandchild Anne Canute, East of The Rockies takes viewers through the day-to-day life inside the camp from the perspective of 17-year-old Yuki, who has to adjust to the sudden and disconcerting change forced upon her. Using visual and voice prompts users get the opportunity to see not only what was happening inside the camp, but on the outside with news reels about the war itself.
During the media day and experimental pop-up hosted by the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival (October 31, 2019), I had the opportunity to briefly speak with Kogawa about what it was like using AR to tell her story, how history seems to be repeating itself in politics and the potential impact of East of The Rockies.
East of The Rockies pop-up will be open until November 15th, 2019
Carolyn is a Freelance Film Critic, Journalist, and Podcaster – and avid live tweeter. Member of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), her published work can be found on But Why Tho, The Beat, Observer, and many other sites. As a critic, she believes her personal experiences and outlook on life, give readers and listeners a different perspective they can appreciate.