Laila Shereen Sakr F'21

Laila Shereen Sakr
Assistant Professor
Film and Media Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara

ACLS Digital Extension Grants 2021
Assistant Professor
Film and Media Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara
Arab Data Bodies: Social Media in Mixed Reality

"Arab Data Bodies" is a 360-degree, first-person immersive, virtual and augmented (VR/AR) experience of the Egyptian Uprising of 2011. This data-driven project builds upon nearly one hundred million social media posts in thirty languages (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and other popular sites) harvested by the R-Shief media system. Through collaboration across two campuses at the University of California (UCSB and UCSC), the project extends the representation of R-Shief’s historical, eleven-year-old archive of social media from two-dimensional data visualizations and adapts it into an immersive experience reenacting Tahrir Square in 2011—downtown Cairo’s main public circle that became a focal point during the uprisings. "Arab Data Bodies" is a mixed reality (MX) world of historical data and public spaces, rich in cinematic non-fiction storytelling and visuality.