“Very Frustrating Mexican Removal” is an immersive, verbatim 360° documentary about Canadian immigration detention system. The artwork employs the practice of Verbatim Theatre and techniques and technologies of 360° Cinema to present the events surrounding the death in 2013 of migrant Lucia Vega Jimenez while in detention with the Canada Border Services Agency. Created at OCAD, Digital Futures Program, the main objective of the thesis was to question what is visible in the Canadian migrant detention system by looking its out-of-sight bodies. Research started with an examination of the Forensic Architecture collective and obtaining materials that would articulate Lucia’s story. Videos available online demonstrated the architecture of detention center, which served as the initial core evidence representing the constraints that detained migrants face. Reading the coroner’s inquest transcriptions allowed the many traces left behind in Lucia’s case to appear and build the story. The forensic gaze of 360° film and verbatim theatre combined are the artistic substrate of a digital immersive experience of enactment that merges theoretical considerations of networks, assemblies, and appearingness, with the lived experience of Lucia.
3D Artist: Shawn Mitford
VFX Artist-Compositor: Ergin Sanal, Ian Amaya, Emmanuel Sanchez
Music: First prototype: Hali;
Final Version: Music/Sound Design: Andor Sperling
Lucia: Isorine Marc
Counsel: Alexander Masters, Lawyer: James Hanemayer, Rosa: Sofia Silva Deputy Sheriff: Gerry Corway
Unit Rep: Laura Vandiver, CBSA Officer: Leah Mertz
Presented at RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival; Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto; Split New Media Film Festival, Croatia.
Primary Advisor: David McIntosh / Secondary Advisor: Patricio Davila