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Strike Stories

Following the inconclusive strikes of 2022, the United Kingdom was facing numerous strike action during the months of February and March of 2023. This project was done in collaboration with a team of digital designers from the Royal College of Art’s MA Digital Direction Programme aimed at amplifying the voice of people who are bearing the burden of unjust practices within the workforce. The subject was very relevant as each of these strikes had a significant impact on everyday life in the United Kingdom.


Collaborating with a real-world community, we aimed to support workers in the strike action to get higher pay, more favourable working conditions, and safety within the workforce. We researched and experienced how a strike operates while reaching out to communities to understand how we could put our skills to develop an immersive outcome on a digital platform to help their cause. This way we created an extended reality context using relevant technical approaches informed by research, critique, and collaboration.


Our project was based on Co-Collaboration - talking to people! Most of our time was spent trying to understand what people wanted not only from us but from their unions and strikes. Considering the Budget Day March was attended by at least 40,000 people, that is 40,000 different stories, emotions, and passions for us to try and tap into. We wanted to create a community, a relationship with different parts of the current movement. 


Our exhibition ran with 4 different sections, all based on plans, preparation, testing, and feedback. One of the first ideas we discussed with the people at the marches was representing their voices on social media through both direct and indirect communication. This led to my involvement in creating an Instagram filter that showed support for the strikers but also for the people striking themselves. It played on anonymity by covering parts of the user’s face allowing them to either show themselves or stay unidentified. Focusing on the digital I also developed an immersive experience that was played on an Oculus Quest 2 where the users were presented with the opportunity to join the strikes from afar by viewing 360 footage collected on picket lines and the Budget Day Strike itself. This allowed for people who weren’t aware of the situation as well as ones who were but were not able to join the strikes in person, to experience these first-hand. 


As a whole the project turned out to be very impactful on both ourselves as a team being able to start conversations as well as the viewers being able to learn more and understand the good, the bad, and the frustrating. 


Medium: Instagram Augmented Reality Filter, 360 Virtual Reality Immersive Experience 

Software & Equipment: Meta Spark Studio, GoPro MAX 360, GoPro Player, Adobe Premiere Pro, Oculus Meta Quest 2


Dimensions of Virtual Reality Experience: 5376 × 2688

Codecs: H.264, MPEG-4 AAC

Colour profile: HD(1-1-1)

Duration: 10:30

Audio channels: Stereo


Dimensions of Instagram Augmented Reality Filter: 1080 x 1920


Presented at

Royal College of Art Garden House 

24 March – 4 April 2023

© Dimitar Spasov, 2023

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