March 7, 2017


ACPCultures+ met Selly Raby Kane, a Senegalese fashion designer, who unveiled her project to make a film in virtual reality.

What is your background ?

I am a stylist and I come from Dakar, Senegal. I present The Other Dakar, my first virtual reality project. I realized it as part of a program organized by the Goethe Institute, Big World Cinema and other organizations in charge of supporting African projects.

Can you tell me about The Other Dakar?

It is the story of a little girl who discovers the invisible side of Dakar. It is a tribute to my city, the urban culture and the legends of Dakar. This film is a way to present the mystical aspect of Dakar, which has a great impact on the city, but has not yet been put forward through films.

Why did you make this film?

First of all because I wanted to express myself through fashion. Then, because Dakar is my city. The city is perceptible in my work, I wanted to show the invisible part for the people who do not live there.

Why did you decide to make this film in virtual reality?

It was not my choice. Virtual reality was part of the program in which I participated. But it proves to be a great way to tell a story, it gives access to a world and a content that traditional films do not offer. I have completely adopted this way of doing things, and I can imagine myself making other films in virtual reality in the future.

Have you been trained to make this film?

Yes, I have already made movies before. But there was also a training program given by professionals on video games, movies, cooperative work and how to tell a story.

In your opinion, what are the differences between a story told in a simple way and through virtual reality?

Virtual reality is more democratic. You do not have control over the experience the audience is going to experience, the images it receives, what stimulates it, when it turns its head and in which direction. In my opinion, that is the main difference.

Do you think that virtual reality has a commercial stake in Africa?

I have not yet thought about it, I am not yet there. For now, I am only trying to see how far my story can go and how I can relate it in the most complete way possible through various means of communication. At the moment we are discussing, the business model is under construction, so we will see the results gradually.

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