Time Travel Tobacco Factory

Digital Memory Studies

The project "Zeitreise Tabakfabrik" (time travel tobacco factory) represents the implementation of a “Blended Spaces”- mediation concept. Today Danube University Krems resides in the tobacco factory Stein, whose historical development became part of the project. The Centre for Applied Game Research assembled film sequences taken from a 1927 documentary showing the tobacco workers’ everyday life into an augmented reality app. Thus, the workers' lives of the 1920s are visible in form of film extracts and can be watched on smartphones or tablets at the actual location of the event.

Since 2015 visiting tours lead through the former tobacco factory and not only the app is available, but contemporary witnesses are also present. The witnesses interact with the cinematic narrative, presenting their point of view. Media formats support the narratives, film sequences prompt further discussions. Frequently, people with family connections to former tobacco workers appear in the audience and so can contribute to the reconstruction of historical experiences. These interactions between digital technologies, contemporary witnesses, historical sites and audiences deliver fresh knowledge on the subject. Thus enables collective references on the region, visual perceptions of historical narratives directly at the scene, all together regarded from different perspectives.

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