This is what CNN did in terms of ‘immersive journalism’, using the Google street view camera to take viewers into ravaged Haiti. The uncut footage provides a 360 look on the human disaster, filmed from the roof of a driving car. For me, browsing these interactive videos definitely provokes a new and strong sense of ‘being there’ - but painfully so. Being confronted with the surround view, I dearly miss ‘perspective’. Who is looking through the camera? Who is looking at whom? What for? Why am I here? Gazing around from the top of a car makes me feel like a voyeur or a tourist, rather than a connected and empathic citizen. Here, the interactivity and 360 do not produce a sense of connection, but rather a confrontation with a reality that I am clearly not a part of, because I can manipulate it at will. Unlike the persons shown in the video. A lot of pixels and little storytelling.
This is just a Youtube rendering, but look on the CNN website for the real deal, with full control over your point of view. It’s a rather alienating way to relate to the world, if you ask me. Ffrom the CNN website: “Haiti: 360. Use your mouse to click and drag around the video to change the view. You can also zoom in and out. Pause and explore at any time by pressing the play/pause button under the video to stop and look around. The video was shot on Monday, January 18, at 9:52 a.m. EST in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.” I wish the Haitians in the picture were able to ‘pause and explore’ their world ‘ at any time.