Community event

Rebooting the Greek Language XR exhibit 'Between Worlds' launches at Museum of Vancouver

November 27, 2019
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On Tuesday evening, SFU’s Stavros Niarchos Foundation Centre for Hellenic Studies launched a Greek Civilization Experience extended reality exhibit entitled ‘Between Worlds’ with partners at the Museum of Vancouver.

The exhibit was developed as a pilot project by the SNF New Media Lab and Dr. Nick Hedley's Spatial Interface Research Lab in SFU's Dept. of Geography, under the auspices of the Greek Ambassador to Canada, Dimitrios Azemopoulos. The work was completed under the umbrella of the Rebooting the Greek Language project, which is bringing together revolutionary pedagogy and cutting-edge technologies for Greek language education throughout the diaspora. This project was made possible with generous funding from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

The content of the ‘Between Worlds’ exhibit aligns with British Columbia’s new Grade 7 social studies curriculum and includes virtual and augmented experiences that span a range of geographic scales and contexts, such as: looking through a doorway in museum space, to experience the daily domestic life of an ancient Greek home in virtual space, witnessing a famous Greek naval battle from the perspective the deck of a warship, a journey deep into the underworld, rebuilding a ruined Tholos, and participating in ancient rituals. Physical objects and historical artifacts will be the starting point of these engagements, while the story arc and narratives that accompany them bring an elevated historical meaning to the student’s learning outcomes.

This pilot project’s main goal is to collect survey data from student participants to gauge the engagement and learning experience. If successful, the project will then have the opportunity to be replicated and re-calibrated to showcase other cultures and histories to areas of BC and Canada where accessibility is an issue and concern.

The launch event, called ‘Found in Translation’, also provided an opportunity for reflection following the passing over the summer of the Centre’s founding director, Professor André Gerolymatos. André’s determination and hard work made SFU a leading institution for the study and promotion of Greece’s history, language and culture and have prepared the way for future successes. During the event, the Centre’s new director, Dr. Dimitris Krallis, publicly launched a call for support for an André Gerolymatos Memorial Fund at Simon Fraser University, to provide him with an enduring legacy at the university. Mrs. Beverly Gerolymatos was on hand as well.

We were pleased to be joined at the event by SFU’s Vice President, Advancement and Alumni Engagement, Mike den Haan, as well as members of the local Greek community. We were also pleased to be joined by the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr. Jane Pulkingham, as well as the newly installed Greek Consul General, Eleni Georgopoulou, both of whom spoke on the occasion. The Centre looks forward to holding more community-focused events such as this in the future.

For more information about the Rebooting the Greek Language project and other technology projects, please visit our SNF New Media Lab page for details.

For more information about the SNF Centre for Hellenic Studies and its programs, please visit our Media page.

Learn more about the Museum of Vancouver and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation on thier websites.

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