Municipality of The Hague Behind the front door
Everyone recognizes this: you are on the bus or tram, looking out the window, it is dark outside. The lamps are on in people's homes and you can see some silhouettes moving behind the curtains. You realize that behind every window and behind every door there is a unique life story and you wonder what is happening there…
This experience was the reason for the concept Behind the front door of our non-profit venture Hack The Planet. When we get to know each other better, we care more about each other and we can help each other when needed. Cold feet, cultural differences and prejudices prevent us from seeking each other out. Although we are all different and unique, we often want the same thing in life. Behind the front door removes the thresholds by immersing the viewer in the lives of other people. The aim of the project is to improve social cohesion in residential areas by literally giving people a peek behind someone's front door.
Hack The Planet's new welfare project, which previously used virtual reality to combat loneliness among the elderly, consists of an interactive installation developed in collaboration with video agency Wolfstreet. With 360 degree film technique and personal interviews, the project gives a special insight into the lives of other people. The immersive installation consists of five front doors that give access to a small interior space. In the interior space, the viewer is surrounded by screens. Depending on which door a visitor opens, the experience starts in which the viewer imagines himself in the living room of a resident in the neighbourhood. The videos were shot with special 360 degree cameras, so that the same experience as with virtual reality can be obtained without the viewer having to put on VR glasses (as is the case with the humanitarian VR documentary Meet the Soldier).
The project focuses on the stories of Wiktoria, Saba, Rico, Malika and Denise, all residents of The Hague Southwest. They give a personal glimpse into their lives, in which the moving interviews are given an extra charge due to the confinement of the small interior space behind the five doors.
The installation was officially opened in July 2021 by Mayor Jan van Zanen of The Hague.