Susana Ruiz awarded an ACLS digital scholarship to develop a 2011 Egyptian Uprising virtual reality documentary

UC Santa Cruz Assistant Professor of Film and Digital Media, Susana Ruiz, has received a $ 20,000 2021 digital extension grant from the American Council of Known Societies (ACLS) for her project. Arab data bodies: mixed reality social networks.

The Digital Extension Grant program supports team-based collaborative research projects that promote inclusive academic practices and promote a greater understanding of diversity through digital research.

Grants of up to $ 150,000 are also designed to expand the reach of established digital initiatives to new user communities. The program is made possible by the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Ruiz shares the grant with her principal co-researcher, Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies Laila Shereen Sakr at UC Santa Barbara.

“I’m very excited about this work and this collaboration,” Ruiz said. “It is an extension and a reimagining of a long-standing project of Professor Sakr R-Shief-an incredible archive that collects millions of social media posts in 30 languages ​​since 2008 related to social movements.

“Specifically, we focus on the 11-year-old social media archive that was collected during the Arab uprisings of 2011. Using this database as the main source content, we will develop an immersive virtual reality documentary ( VR) which once again represents Tahrir Square in 2011, the main public circle in central Cairo that became a focal point during the riots.

Arab data bodies it is a mixed-reality cinematic world of historical data and public spaces, “he added.” It’s a virtual reality documentary from the 2011 Egyptian uprising that allows participants to experience the historical moment virtually on the ground. “

Ruiz’s academic and creative work is concerned with how the intersection of art practice, playful and playful design, and digital storytelling can enable new approaches to social activism, aesthetics, and public education. His work is collaborative, interdisciplinary and combines theory and practice.

“We see the next five years as pivotal in the development of mixed reality and scholarship media,” Ruiz said. “Professor Sakr and I share a deep interest in exploring collaborative methodological approaches based on the idea and application of‘ practice ’(media, activist and expressive practices) that allow for an informed and careful understanding of the shared experience. mediated “.

The grant money will be shared by both campuses and will be used to support the research team and help incorporate undergraduate and graduate students into the project, as well as to hire technical consultants and acquire equipment.

“Digital projects in the humanities discover and provide access to collections and materials that could have been hidden from view or that were not even considered worthy of collecting,” noted ACLS Vice President James Shulman. “We are excited to see how this year’s digital extension winners contribute to futuristic work that builds academic fields and careers and will shape tomorrow’s scholarship.”

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