Every month, Guernica’s multimedia editor, Mary Wang, selects a new documentary as part of our partnership with Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA). These works were produced by filmmakers around the globe, but are united in their commitment to advancing social justice through compelling narratives and captivating imagery.

Guernica is pleased to present our first virtual reality documentary, Sanctuaries of Silence. Billed as an “immersive listening journey”, the film follows acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton as he seeks to document the impact of noise pollution in the Hoh Rainforest, one of the quietest places in North America. According to Hempton, silence is on the verge of extinction. Watch this documentary for his profound meditation on the art of listening.

To watch the video, we recommend using the latest versions of the following browsers with WebGL and hardware acceleration enabled in the browser settings:

  • Chrome
  • Firefox
  • Opera
  • Edge
  • Safari (version 11.0.2 or higher)

On mobile, we recommend using the latest version of the following:

  • The Vimeo iOS app (version 6.2+) on iOS (version 8.0+)
  • The Vimeo Android app (version 2.4+) on Android (version 4.3+)
  • Embedded videos on mobile browsers for Android (version 4.3+)

All mobile devices will require a built-in gyroscope sensor for 360-degree video playback. Unfortunately, playback is not currently supported in any mobile browsers for iOS and the Vimeo TV apps.

SIMA is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt arts organization. It exists to advance global awareness, social justice, human rights, and education by supporting filmmakers on the frontlines of social change. SIMA started as the first and only international media competition honoring achievements in the creative, human rights, and humanitarian fields. Today, SIMA is the most renowned global curator in the social impact space, serving independent film, academic, and global social justice industries around the world. The organization now consists of several programs, including SIMA Classroom, SIMA RAMA, and SIMAx, which all have the purpose of effecting change through social impact cinema.

Mary Wang

Mary Wang is a senior editor at Guernica. She runs the Miscellaneous Files interview series, in which she talks to writers about their practice through the screenshots, notes, and other digital marginalia found on the writers' devices.

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