Dan Archer is the founder of Empathetic Media, a new media agency that uses virtual and augmented reality to tell news stories in immersive ways. His work has been published broadly among publications including the BBC, CBC, San Francisco Public Press, American Public Media, and PBS. The first virtual reality experience from Empathetic Media, Ferguson Firsthand, offering a virtual reconstruction of the apartment complex where Michael Brown was shot on August 9th, 2014, was published by Fusion in 2015. Dan was a 2014 Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow and a 2011 Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.
Project description: The Room of Never Again shows the post-conflict restorative justice scheme in Colombia. It offers three immersive experiences from all three sides of the Colombian conflict (civilians, ex-FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas and paramilitaries), as former enemies share their true stories of why they enlisted, their involvement in the conflict and their subsequent demobilization.
In his own words: “At their core, I think both Restorative Narrative and my project’s approaches share similar values of reconciliation, long-term struggle and hard-won optimism…I had to not to take user experience for granted and pay close attention to simplifying the first-person experience in order to fit an accessible, intelligible path. I learned not to succumb to the rote three-act structure that might follow traditional stories, and think about the emotional and human connections at the heart of the story.”