Documenting complexity: Intersections of Documentary, Activism and Technological Innovation

This project researches how documentary makers employ innovative technologies to capture and represent complexity in cities and empower citizens to act. Documentary makers, particularly those with artistic and activist motivations, are crucial creative actors when researching societal complexity. 


Since cinema’s invention in the 1880s, filmmakers question reality, truth and representation. These questions have become even more pressing given society’s complexity and new technologies allowing the recording and presenting of the world in highly specific and omnipresent ways: Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR), 360°-cameras, drones, action-cams, and 24/7 live-streams. 


This research explores ways in which immersiveness can be applied within the Creative Industry and if there are ways in which these applications can be used within journalistic productions. The focus in this study is the great use of storytelling and interaction in combination with new technology within journalistic productions.


This project is ongoing. Results will be presented during film festivals such as documentary film festival IDFA. 



01 January 2020 - 01 January 2022


First interviews are conducted with documentary makers. Afterwards, the interdisciplinary research team works in a co-creative setting to produce a documentary. This process will be analyzed. 

HU researchers involved in the research

  • Yael de Haan | Professor | Quality Journalism in Digital Transition
    Yael de Haan
    • Professor
    • Research groups: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition

Collaboration with knowledge partners

In this study we work together with:

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen 
- Stichting Beeld en Geluid
- MU
- Worm
- Verspers 

Any questions or do you want to collaborate?

Yael de Haan | Professor | Quality Journalism in Digital Transition

Yael de Haan

  • Professor
  • Research group: Quality Journalism in Digital Transition