VR experience and documentary
Cabinet of Wonder is set as a feature length documentary movie, accompanied by a VR experience series and media literacy program for schools and educators. In our search for the essence and mystery of childhood, we found children who touched us deeply, each in their own way: Wisdom (9), a German boy of Cameroonian heritage, Joline (10) a girl with dyslexia, Elias (12) with a diagnosis of autism and Roja (11) who fled from Iran to Germany two years ago. All very different, they have one thing in common: they do not fit into the framework of our function-driven society und wish for a place where they can stay timelessly, as long as they want and where no one tells them what to do.
Wisdom – the traveler: When nine-year old Wisdom Enow is asked which story he would like to tell, he decides for a story about a journey. His inner map will bring him to Cameroon one day, the land where his parents lived before they came to Germany. Wisdom is very affectionate, but there is also anger in his heart.
He cannot stand anymore to be „foreigner“ and being ridiculed because of the color of his skin.
Joline – the story collector: Joline is 10 years old and when she tries to read a text, the words are jumbled up and some letters seem to scatter away; she can only stutter her way through its meaning. Joline, however, knows how to describe her feelings precisely. In a group, she is often the annoying child, the one who does not fit in. Her mother is very concerned about Joline’s future, because she has the feeling that her daughter does not really strive to learn or reach something.
Joline‘s greatest desire: “I wish that life weren’t so stressful”.
Elias – the child in the bubble: Autism spectrum disorder was the diagnosis that Jenny, Elia’s mother, received when she consulted a specialist. An IQ test showed that Elias would never learn to read and write. This shock did not make her doubt on her son’s intelligence: nowadays, he can read and write well, although he needs a bit longer for some school subjects. Today, Elias is 12 years old and loves technology. His favorite pastimes are visiting electronic markets and try virtual reality glasses on as well as collecting fans. Most of the time, he says, he lives in a world of his own, inside his head. Cat people, cats and guinea pigs live there, too.
And there are no schools.
Roja – the fighter: Roja, 11 years old, is participating in a swimming competition to get her first swimming badge. She loves to be in the water and is happy to learn how to swim, especially because she often dreams of her boat trip over the sea. Two years ago, Roja and her family came from Iran to Germany. She was so scared then because she could not swim at that time. What Roja misses the most is speaking her mother tongue. She does not really like to always play translator for her parents.
Roja thinks of her old home, she is not sad. While she says that, she looks quite sad.
In documentary observations, animated sequences and staging of their „invented“ stories that stand for metaphors of desires and inner conflicts, we immerse in the inner world of the
protagonists. And the additional VR experience even makes the cabinets of wonder of our children accessible. The term cabinet of wonder does not only define a collection of objects, but also of inner landscapes, moreover our brain or thoughts. There, you can go for a walk, curiously look around and be astonished. And it is all about astonishment.