Wallworth will discuss the creative journey she experienced while co-creating her ground-breaking Virtual Reality work Awavena with a Brazilian Amazonian tribe and how it has shaped her understanding of the potential for new immersive technologies to be used in support of current clinical trials.

Wallworth was invited by the Amazonian Yawanawa to create this stunning VR experience using cutting-edge technology to mirror their vision states. For the Yawanawa, "medicine" has the power to take you inside a vision to a place you have never been. By collaborating with Wallworth, Hushuhu, the first woman shaman of the Yawanawa was able to use VR-like medicine to open a portal to another way of knowing.

Awavena is a collaboration between a community and an artist, melding technology and transcendent experience so that a vision can be shared, and a story told of a people who arose from near colonial extinction and who continue to fight to protect their grandmother trees. Awavena is an unmissable experience and a gift from the Yawanawa they hope will shift our consciousness and change the way we perceive the world and the decisions we make.

Awavena screened first to international acclaim at the 2018 Sundance and Venice Film Festivals. It had its Melbourne debut at ACMI in 2019 and received an Emmy Award for Outstanding New Approaches to Documentary in 2020. It continues to tour and is used by the Yawanawa community to share a world view that holds the forest as central to our existence.

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Australian artist/filmmaker Lynette Wallworth is renowned for creating profoundly empathetic works while pushing the boundaries of emerging technologies. She works primarily in immersive environments including 360 film, virtual reality, interactive video, digital full-dome as well as feature documentaries. Wallworth has received multiple international awards for her work including the UNESCO City of Sydney award and two Emmy awards.

Wallworth's works have been shown at venues and festivals across the world, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the American Museum of Natural History, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, the Smithsonian; Venice Film Festival, London Film Festival, and Sundance Film Festival. In 2016 Wallworth was named by Foreign Policy Magazine as one of the years leading global thinkers. She is currently a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Augmented and Virtual Reality and Director of the Forum’s New Narratives Lab for under-represented voices. She sits on the board of the Sundance Institute.

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