Survival in Xinjiang is an experimental immersive reporting project that includes "Inside Xinjiang's Prison State," an interactive feature story for The New Yorker, and Reeducated, a virtual-reality film.
“Inside Xinjiang’s Prison State” reveals the scope of China's campaign of persecution against ethnic and religious minorities. In the spring of 2017, authorities in Xinjiang began detaining thousands of Uighurs and other Turkic and Muslim people in secret camps. Some of them are sentenced to long prison terms or forcibly transferred to factories and farms across China. It is likely the largest mass internment of minorities since the Second World War. With reporting by Ben Mauk and immersive artwork by Matt Huynh, this piece goes inside and beyond the camps to highlight China’s system of forced assimilation, including live-in cadres, public confessions, and pro-forma trials.
Reeducated is a New Yorker documentary that premiered at South by Southwest on March 16. Drawn from hours of firsthand testimony, survivor sketches, satellite photos, and hand-drawn animation, the V.R. film, directed by Sam Wolson and developed by Wolson and Mauk, reconstructs three ex-detainees' experiences in an immersive 3D, 360-degree space. It's virtual-reality journalism, using new storytelling technologies and a dozen hours of interviews to reconstruct an otherwise inaccessible, authoritarian space.