Virtual Reality allows audiences to experience the story of the Mayflower Voyage and its contemporary parallels

Date published: 22 July 2020
Mayflower Reflections

This year marks the 400 year anniversary since the Mayflower Voyage saw 102 passengers take the perilous journey from Plymouth to the America in search of a better life. To mark the occasion, Leicester-based arts organisation MBD has created a virtual reality experience that immerses audiences in the story of the momentous journey and explores the contemporary parallels with the early voyagers.

Due to be released this Summer, Mayflower Reflections, allows audiences to put on a Virtual Reality Headset from the comfort of their own home and find themselves transported back to the 1600s. As they hear of the story of these early settlers, viewers learn of how much has changed since the voyagers first settled on the land, and the similarities between their journey and the journey of millions of asylum seekers today.

The story combines cutting edge visuals, with narrative storytelling and an original soundtrack, to take this vital moment in history and share it with a contemporary audience.

Dr Anna Scott, Mayflower 400 Officer at West Lindsey District Council, helped support MBD’s innovative approach to telling the Pilgrims’ story. “The new Virtual Reality Mayflower experience from MBD really helps you imagine what that voyage must have been like, and relates that to how it’s still relevant for us today”, she said.

Cllr Michael Devine, Member for Gainsborough East ward also commented:

“This project is a great idea and with so many events being postponed or cancelled this year due to coronavirus, it will allow people to learn more about the Mayflower story in an innovative way.  

“Gainsborough has a great history and well worth a visit when better times allow for people to come and see for themselves some of the beautiful buildings in the town.”

Whilst much of the Mayflower400 commemorations have been postponed in light of government guidance surrounding Covid-19 and the need for social distancing, this 15-minute experience will be available to access from home via the Oculus Store. Mayflower Reflections will also be available to watch online from 25 July 2020 at MBDTV on Youtube Channel and Metro Boulot Dodo Leicester on Facebook.

Founded in 1997, MBD specialises in bringing stories to life using a blend of art and technology. Their projects have included large scale projections such as Overview Effect and their award-winning VR project Empire Soldiers. 

Mayflower Reflections is part of West Lindsey District Council’s PilgrimAGE series led by Discover Gainsborough. The series will run throughout the summer, leading up to the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower in September and will include historical blogs, snapshots in to exhibitions as well as videos and podcasts.

For more information visit www.discovergainsborough.com/PilgimAGE.

To follow the PilgrimAGE campaign, like Discover Gainsborough on Facebook or follow @DiscoverGains on Twitter. Be part of the conversation and post your images, comments and thoughts about the story using #PilgrimAGE.


For the latest news on West Lindsey District Council visit: www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/councilnews

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