With 360 degree video and computer generated imaging (CGI), this virtual reality (VR) project-in-development will extend the conversation about the connection between dehumanization and violence that Jackie Olive’s feature film, Always in Season, sparks. Currently in development, the VR project explores the physical and emotional spaces at the intersection of race and gender as Durham, North Carolina-based, plus-sized vinyasa yoga instructor, and Instagram star, Jessamyn Stanley, practices yoga in racialized public spaces, where black women are typically absent, not expected to be, or are unwelcome.
At farmers markets, campgrounds, beaches, or at Confederate memorial sites, VR users will examine their own stereotypes as they experience the crowds’ reactions to Jessamyn as she rolls out her mat and practices poses with a body that is bigger and darker than most people in the crowd.
This VR project offers black women and others a storyline that is validating, empowering, and healing. Jessamyn Stanley’s yoga practice is an ideal vehicle for intimately experiencing the presence of a black woman as she uses yoga to move through the world with confidence and strength.