Augmented Reality Application for the novel Nationalbefreite Zone [Nationally Liberated Zone]
Supporting developer: Leonid Barsht
The author Juliane Wünsche shows how augmented reality (AR) can be used to expand literature with an AR application accompanying her novel Nationalbefreite Zone [Nationally Liberated Zone]. The story takes place in the small town of Zittau in East Saxony in 1999: in the region, which is characterized by unemployment and lack of prospects, the economic and social disruptions of the post-reunification period lead to national pride and xenophobia. The East German student Franziska Wendt and the West German professor Alexander Harten get into the struggles between left and right and have to make a decision: interfere or look away, fight or give up, go or stay.
Many of the events described in the novel are based on real events – with describing the situation in Zittau, the author devotes herself to a piece of recent German history that stands as an example for the economic and political development of numerous small towns in East Germany after 1989 and provides valuable information about current developments. Here, great things are told in the details – and not just by Juliane Wünsche.
The prototype for the AR application was created in the AURORA production lab, where in addition to the novel plot, contemporary witnesses from Zittau also have their say. They speak from historical newspaper articles and videos, fading in using AR, and the novel characters appear in the form of animated illustrations. Political, economic and cultural backgrounds are also conveyed through a commented AR slide show, a playable dialect memory and a simulated car trip through the border triangle around Zittau – including changeable radio stations. The diverse AR content is evoked by a card set with illustrations for the novel by Kerstin Welther and Matthias Ries. These markers can be scanned individually and in different combinations to create a total of 12 different augmentations.
East and west, true events and fiction, analog and virtual world: Nationalbefreite Zone [Nationally Liberated Zone] is a cross-border commuter in several ways. Its experimental multimedia aspects have new potential for lively communication of politics and history, which could for example be used in the educational field such as secondary schools.
Text: Juliane Wünsche and Maja Stark
About the artist:
Juliane Wünsche was born in Löbau in 1974 and is a blogger and author. During her training as an editor and her degree as a translator for English and Czech, she wrote reports, portraits and features about the economic and social upheavals in Upper Lusatia for the local editorial offices of the Sächsische Zeitung in Löbau and Zittau. Juliane Wunsch has lived in Berlin since 2003. On her blog www.hungerherz.de she reviews books, plays, exhibitions and other cultural events. Nationalbefreite Zone [Nationally Liberated Zone] is her debut novel.