New project will bring Antarctic heritage to life

Published: 12 November 2020 at 14:00

British Antarctic base

Innovative storytelling will help global audience access historical archives

A new collaboration between Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UK-AHT) will see British Antarctic heritage brought to life via immersive, audio-visual technologies and innovative storytelling.

ARU’s StoryLab will lead the project, which has been established through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) programme co-funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through Innovate UK and UK-AHT, to access rich historical archives and use new technology to create a virtual experience accessible to a global audience.

The UK-AHT exists to preserve, enhance and promote British Antarctic heritage, and looks after important buildings and artefacts on the continent. The most sparsely populated continent on Earth is home to a history of exploration, and the UK has often been at the forefront of some of the most important scientific and research work.

Dr Shreepali Patel, Director of StoryLab at ARU, said:

“Advances in emerging media are rapidly reshaping the landscape of storytelling. Our collaboration with UK-AHT will bring to life some of the adventures captured by Antarctic explorers and scientists in their incredible archive. Immersive storytelling has the ability to engage audiences with powerful, long-lasting experiences, and more importantly make the inaccessible accessible for many. 

“This project brings together expertise in cultural heritage, 3D visualisation, gaming and storytelling. We are extremely excited to continue our collaboration with UK-AHT with the support of Innovate UK.”

Camilla Nichol, Chief Executive of UK-AHT, said:

“Being able to combine our resources, expertise and creativity with the team at ARU is an incredible opportunity. This project will bring our remote Antarctic heritage to a great many more people here in the UK and across the world. 

“No longer will these places and stories be the preserve of the privileged few who are able to visit. Instead by exploring these globally significant sites the associated archival materials will bring these to life for a new audience and a new generation who may be inspired by the incredible stories of exploration, science and human endeavour embodied by these sites. 

“We are hugely grateful to Innovate UK for sharing our vision and for making this a reality.”

The project will take place over the next two and a half years and is being supported by the School of Creative Industries and the School of Management at ARU, with academics Dr Senir Dina, Dr Fabrizio Galeazzi and Professor Lynn Martin also involved in the project.

Photo courtesy of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust

Storytelling and collaboration at ARU

StoryLab is one of six high-profile research institutes at ARU. Our researchers combine traditional storytelling methods with emerging formats and creative technologies such as 360 film, soundscapes and 3D data visualisation to create powerful, immersive experiences. Read more about StoryLab's work.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, such as this collaboration with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, are an invaluable way of sharing ideas, data, experience and expertise. Find out how a partnership with ARU could help your business.