In today’s political landscape, bigotry and the marginalization of certain groups of people has become more prevalent. With the Trump Administration’s targeting of Muslim nations, the racist sentiments are very present which has allowed for more racial stereotyping. This is the fuel behind Asad J. Malik’s new project Asad & Assad.
Asad & Assad is the first interactive Augmented Reality documentary created by Asad J. Malik. The project was inspired by Asad’s own inevitable connection with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for their near identical names. The documentary portrays a wide spectrum of socio-political experiences of people perceived as Muslim in the US, interviewed in a way that is reminiscent of airport interrogations and secondary screenings people like Asad have been through.
The AR format allows the viewer to deeply empathise with each character, as they appear to be in the same room. Asad says, “The project is designed in a way that each viewer has a completely unique experience of the narrative, depending on how they navigate through the stories- so maybe your interests lead you to spend more time with certain holograms.”
Last summer Asad released Holograms from Syria, a project which took images from war torn Syria and placed them in locations around the US. This project ignited a conversation about how we consume images of war. Asad & Assad began when Sundance Film Festival and Kaleidoscope took notice and encouraged the AR work Asad was doing. Asad & Assad has come a long way since, and now Asad and his team have secured a crucial partnership with DepthKit, which provides them with the volumetric capture technology they’re using to bring the holograms to life. Asad & Assad is now live on Kickstarter and is looking for your support!
Through this creative and strong voiced project, Asad addresses the important political and ethical subject of stereotyping, and allows the viewer to become a part of the conversation. Through his Kickstarter campaign, Asad’s goal is to bring these stories and individuals into the same room as the viewer and help break down the wall of bias plaguing our society.