Ultimate aims and fundamental mission.

In every crevice of our cities, history whispers its tales. These narratives, etched in stone and bronze, are the remnants of yesteryears, echoes of times once lived. Our streets are adorned with monuments and statues, each a sentinel of the past, guarding the stories they were erected to tell. In ancient times, these statues stood as clear narrators, their forms and expressions vividly recounting the events and legends they represented. As time marched on, their voices became more allegorical, their messages shrouded in metaphor and abstraction. In the modern era, monuments have evolved into symbols so nuanced that their stories often remain hidden, shrouded in mystery.

We stroll past these silent storytellers daily, unaware of the rich histories they hold, the tales they yearn to tell. But what if these mute witnesses could speak? What if the veils of time could be lifted, and the stories they guard brought into the light?

Augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI), and modern technology hold the key to unlocking these narratives. They possess the power to illuminate the forgotten stories, to breathe life into the cold stone and metal. Through AR, we can see not just the form, but also the spirit of these monuments; through AI, we can understand not just the symbols, but also the stories they symbolize.

Yet, as we embark on this journey of revelation, we face the challenge of time. To ensure these stories endure, we must forge a technology that stands resilient against the relentless tide of years. An open platform, accessible not just today but for generations to come, is vital. A digital repository that is as enduring as the stories it seeks to tell.

This project is a step towards realizing that vision. It is an endeavor to bring the tales of our cities out from the shadows of obscurity, to make the silent statues speak once more, and to ensure their whispers are heard far into the future. It is a proof of concept, a testament to the potential of technology to serve as a bridge between past, present, and future.

Kollwitz's Whisper: Augmenting Peace through AR(t)

"Whispering Statues" embarks on an imaginative, technologically enriched journey, intertwining the past's echoes with today's aspirations for peace. This augmented reality (AR) experience is a creative tapestry, sewing together the poignant narratives of historical monuments into a vivid, universal saga. It revives the silent tales of monuments worldwide, particularly highlighting the emotive sculptures of Käthe Kollwitz, transforming them into vibrant beacons of collective memory and active engagement.

The initiative confronts the often-ignored reality of ongoing global conflicts, bringing to light the staggering, yet overlooked, statistics of war's impact. It serves as a potent reminder of the millions suffering in 'forgotten wars,' aiming to shift these narratives from the background noise of daily life to the forefront of global consciousness. By leveraging AR and AI, this project not only illustrates the scars of conflict but also ignites empathy and dialogue towards peace.

Central to this narrative is the life and work of Käthe Kollwitz, a German artist whose personal tragedy during the Great War transformed her into a fervent advocate for peace. Her sculptures, epitomizing the agony of loss and the futility of war, stand as powerful monuments of mourning in locations like Berlin's Neue Wache and a remote Belgian cemetery.

"Whispering Statues" bridges these physical and emotional spaces, offering an interactive experience where visitors contribute their reflections on war and peace. These contributions, amalgamated through AI, form a continuous scroll of public thought and AI-generated art, symbolizing the ongoing conversation about war's legacy and the pursuit of peace.

The project extends its impact beyond the virtual realm. Portions of the ever-growing scroll are transformed into individual artworks, auctioned to support peace-promoting initiatives globally. This strategy ensures that the message of peace and the legacy of Kollwitz resonate not only in memory and art but also in tangible actions fostering worldwide harmony. In essence, "Whispering Statues" is a compelling blend of history, art, and technology, crafting an evolving narrative that honors the past while actively shaping a more peaceful future.

Download project files here


This project has been meticulously designed and will be skillfully executed by Frank Govaere, a Berlin-based Animation, VFX and XR artist, producer and author.

To learn more about Frank and explore his portfolio, please visit his webpage or contact him by email frank@govaere.de.

Copyright © 2023 Frank Govaere. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution of any part of this project is strictly prohibited and may result in legal action.