Asikhule Sonke – Grow as One: A transdisciplinary immersion using 360° Virtual Reality

A multimedia visual creation, presented as a 360° Virtual Reality music video, this collaborative creative output explores the central theme of UNITY IN DIVERSITY through the juxtaposition of science and art. The concept of 360° video is not new. There are many works of dance and musical performances filmed using this technology. However, a work of this nature is the first of its kind – a transdisciplinary production that integrates and perfectly synergises innovation, science, creativity and technology into a powerfully impactful medium for socio-political awareness. 

In a world where we are constantly bombarded by information, images and sounds, this work offers a unique viewer experience. While some 360° videos provide virtual experiences of a shark dive or a tour of London, this is the first ever that immerses the viewer as the co-creator of the message while invoking a virtually augmented emotional experience. From this perspective, the project may be considered as a culturally determined production ‘where social, historical and environmental factors interlock with the physical, psychological and mental features of the individual’ (Giurchescu, 1984: 35). The viewer is considered as a psychosomatic entity, the essence of the message. The viewer becomes the message. 

Creative work: Product design (video animation)

Details of work

Title: Asikhule Sonke – Grow as One: A transdisciplinary immersion using 360° Virtual Reality 

Presenters: Dianna Moodley; Robin GenganNiresh Singh

Affiliation: Faculty of Arts and Design, DUT


Robin Gengan is the Founding Director of Blue Robin Digital (Pty) Ltd, a South African film production company specialising in digital content production for the entertainment industry. Previously, he was the Director at Gentacorp (Pty) Ltd, also a film production company. 

Prior to that, he worked at World Vision International, a social welfare NGO, as the Regional Support Services Director. He also worked as a Justice Centre Manager at Legal Aid South Africa and as a Branch Manager at Finaid Financial Services (now Capitec Bank). Robin has extensive experience and knowledge in filmmaking.

“Gracie” a short film, he wrote and co-produced, won Best Short Film: world cinema at the Delhi International Film Festival in 2017, amongst other local and international awards. He was mentored in Bollywood filmmaking by Tips Enterprise in Mumbai (India) and represented KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission as a delegate at the African International Film Festival (AFRIFF) in Lagos (Nigeria) in 2017 and 2018. Robin is currently involved in a feature film production, Xela based on social media and a short film, G27 based on the Covid-19 pandemic. He is currently completing his DPhil (Management Sciences) Degree at the Durban University of Technology and is in the registration process for his second PhD (Visual and Performing Arts) also at the Durban University of Technology.  

Dr. Dianna Moodley has completed extensive studies in Sociolinguistics, having spent almost a decade in the US. Her research specialization lies Language Policy in South African Higher Education. She is highly involved in networking with leading researchers in discovering what motivational factors affect language acquisition and usage in education worldwide. Her quest is to explore what ‘language’ works best to optimize student academic performance in Higher Education. She holds an impressive publishing portfolio, having presented her most recent work at Harvard and Yale Universities in the US. Her presentation at Oxford University in the UK was interrupted by the COVID-19 lockdown protocols. Some of Dr. Moodley’s work has been commissioned by the Council on Higher Education Studies and has been included in language policy strategic implementation planning. She has led several initiatives on advancing isiZulu as a medium of instruction in Higher Education in KZN. 


October 13, 2021

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