#1064: Indigenous Poet’s Journey from Doc Subject to Co-Writer on Award-Winning VR Story “On the Morning You Wake (To the End of the World)”

On the Morning You Wake (To the End of the World) won the best XR Experience at SXSW, and is set to be released this week on March 24th, 2022. (UPDATE 3/24: It’s now been released and can be found here.) It’s an amazingly well-told story about how the false ballistic missile alarm in Hawaii on January 13, 2018 catalyzed a larger discussion about nuclear disarmament within Hawaii and around the world.

Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio is a Native Hawaiian who lived through the events, and she was originally going to be featured an interview subject, but her role expanded into becoming a co-writer of the piece with her experience as a poet and storyteller. Osorio is also an activist, artist, and Professor of Indigenous and Native Hawaiian politics, and she helps to weave in a lot of other indigenous perspectives that are informed by the types of issues around decolonization, capitalism, and the Hawai‘i Sovereignty Movement. None of these influences are directly referenced in the piece as they’re translated into metaphors in her poetry that opens each of the three chapters of the VR piece. This is Osorio’s first experiences in working with the VR medium, and I had a chance to talk with about her journey and reflecting upon the power of immersive storytelling as well the many other discussions that this event has brought up in Hawai‘i.

Be sure to check out my previous conversation about Episode 1 of On the Morning You Wake (To the End of the World).


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Music: Fatality