Former Mundusians at the Forefront of Visual Media Revolution

The face of digital media is rapidly evolving, and a group of Mundus Journalism alumni are leading the charge.

When Gayatri Parameswaran and Felix Gaedtke founded NowHere Media in 2014, they had a clear goal – to use new and innovative visual media platforms to best convey human experiences as stories. Three years have passed, and today the former Mundusians’ project has developed into a thriving multimedia studio with a presence in Berlin, Bombay and Lisbon. Drawing on a network of alumni, they are finding original ways to share stories of human plight and endeavour.

Breaking the barriers

Through their main journalistic platforms of film and 360°/VR, NowHere Media seeks to "tell untold stories, break silences and taboos”. Co-founder Gayatri Parameswaran believes that these mediums can deconstruct the perceived barriers that separate and divide us, to a greater extent than traditional media. "We all live on this planet," says Parameswaran, "but how can we connect our own lives to the lives of people who are far away and live in a completely different reality to ours? These new mediums can bring people to that other reality. They reduce the distance between people and the story."

One of NowHere Media’s current projects is a virtual reality documentary entitled No Child’s Play. Being shot wholly using 360°/VR, the documentary provides an immersive and interactive experience for the audience, while shining a light on the serious global issue of child labour. Parameswaran hopes that by providing something different to traditional documentaries, No Child’s Play will resonate more strongly with its audience and thereby potentially change consumer habits.

Image: Screenshot from NowHere Media, promoting their latest VR work.

Beyond the creation of their own content, NowHere Media is also facilitating the sharing of stories through their new 360-project, Peace VR. The project has its roots in the Mundus education that Parameswaran and Gaedtke received while specialising in Global Conflict at Swansea University. It aims to cut through the rhetoric and inherent bias of media in reporting conflict, and instead draw communities who are bound by conflict closer together. Currently, the NowHere-team is training local artists and journalists in the principles of Peace Journalism, and promoting culture exchange by allowing art and media to be displayed in other areas of conflict.

A network of Mundusians

In describing how the Mundus Journalism Programme was useful in the creation of NowHere Media, Parameswaran is quick to point to the global networking opportunities that the course provides. She calls the network a strong community and a safe space to land in. Parameswaren and Gaedtke themselves met in the Mundus programme in Aarhus before continuing to study together at Swansea University. When the duo was ready to expand the reach of NowHere Media, the Mundus Journalism alumni pool was an obvious place to start. It was here that they found their new business lead, Catarina Gomes, and they expect to continue working with Mundusians in the future.

Based in three different global cities, this trio of Mundus Journalism alumni are forging ahead with their goal of breaking down the barriers that divide us. The networks obtained in the Mundus programme represents, in a microcosm, the shrinking world and newfound access to people with different lives and different stories – the first step on a global adventure to bring us all together.

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