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Sophiatown Reborn: A UJ Research Project – Can VR Reclaim a Lost Community?

Experience Sophiatown like never before! This UJ research project brings Johannesburg’s lost neighbourhood back to life in VR.

Physically demolished under Apartheid, Sophiatown’s rich history and vibrant culture live on in the memories of its residents. Through interviews and VR technology, we’re piecing together a glimpse of what Sophiatown looked and felt like.

This is not a replacement, but a way to directly experience the memories of those who knew and loved Sophiatown. We invite you to explore this exclusive look at the VR exhibit currently developing for the Trevor Huddleston Centre.

This work is supported by the University of Johannesburg, the Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture (FADA), The Department of Multimedia and The Metaverse Research Unit with Support from Prof Anthony Ambala and Dr Pieter Herman Myburgh and research assistance from Thulani Siziba.

Miss Violet Mohotloane, Matilda Kokoana and Tshepo Letsoalo from the Trevor Huddleston Centre are also recognised for their vital support in realising this work.

This VR experience started as a research project initiated by Mr Denver Mark Hendricks at the UJ FabLab with assistance from Mxolisi Ntshona. Finally, deep gratitude is extended to the former residents of Sophiatown who shared their personal stories.

Help shape the future! This project is a work in progress, and we value your feedback. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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