THE AWRA AMBA EXPERIENCE
Rethink a beautiful world
A small collective of farmers from a rural part of Ethiopia got together in the 70s and made some fundamental changes to the way they lived. They formed a progressive new village, called Awra Amba. 40 years on, Awra Amba has transformed from a handful of people who never went to school, to a self-sustaining, gender-equal democracy, where almost all of the youngsters go to university.
The story of Awra Amba is told in a new, innovative interactive documentary that delves into Awra Amba’s fascinating change process, which has taken place under extremely difficult circumstances. It’s an incredible story of hope, determination and belief in taking charge of one’s own destiny.
The documentary combines a series of compelling, short films with interactive storytelling, using 360 panoramic photography, illustration, animation, graphics, text and sound to create an immersive experience for tablets and computers. The aim of the project is to inspire, educate and to generate discussion about some of the most important issues in our world today.
We are a team of creative filmmakers, designers, web developers, educators, musicians and translators who are working collaboratively with the Awra Amba community, to share their tales and expertise with the world’s classrooms, living rooms and village squares.
THE PROJECT IN DETAIL
Around forty years ago, in a rural part of Ethiopia, a young man called Zumra Nuru decided that he’d had enough of how things were. He wanted to live in a world where women and men were equal and where traditions and religion did not dictate every aspect of life. With 19 people, he founded a new village, with new values. Together they created a progressive manifesto for a new way of life… read more
The Awra Amba Experience is a collaborative, interactive documentary, designed for tablets and computers. It tells the story of how a small community in Ethiopia has combatted poverty and changed deeply engrained traditional values to pave way for a better life. Viewers will be able to navigate through the Awra Amba village on an interactive landscape and explore 10 short documentaries as well as a wealth of different multimedia elements… read more
Having explored the Awra Amba Experience, we invite you to participate in an online dialogue, during which you can connect with the Awra Amba community and share your thoughts with other viewers around the world. Discussion topics include gender equality, the role of tradition and religion in society, education, elderly care, aid, development and sustainable living, among others. These are issues that we can all make progress on, so long as we talk about them… read more
IN A NUTSHELL
Where is Awra Amba?
Awra Amba is located in the rural part of the Amhara region of Ethiopia, 65km north of Bahir Dar in Woji Kebele. It is a small village (17,5 hectares) with just under 500 inhabitants. Check out the map here.
How is the Awra Amba community involved?
Where can I find out more?
Why an interactive documentary?
Having spent a lot of time in the Awra Amba Community, we realised that their story is hugely important and multi-faceted, and simply could not fit into a traditional, linear film. The best way to understand Awra Amba is to visit them. This being out of bounds for most people, we decided to create a virtual visit that would bring the visitor as close as possible to the spaces, textures, sounds and people’s everyday lives in the village. The Awra Amba Experience is designed to spark conversations, to make the world smaller, and to connect people with each other. Awra Amba’s fascinating and universal story is likely to make you think and question your own life and your own society.
Who is behind the project?
The Awra Amba Experience is a creative collaboration between the Awra Amba Community and an international team of professional filmmakers, designers, illustrators, web developers, musicians, educators, sound designers and translators from seven different countries. The project is produced by Write This Down, an award-winning film and digital production company based in the UK.
How can I get involved?
Thank you to everyone who supported us through our crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo. The campaign is now over, but you can continue supporting the project here. If you’d like to get involved in a voluntary capacity, please feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. Finally, you can follow us on social media to get regular updates on the project.Facebook Twitter