Bradford’s untold history is to be explored as part of a new immersive storytelling experience where virtual reality will be used to showcase some of the city’s most remarkable tales.

Centred around Bradford Library and on the streets of Bradford itself, the trail will feature digital experiences exploring stories that include that of Mohammed Faisel Hussain, The Godfather of Film, and his contribution to South Asian Cinema, narrated by BBC radio and television presenter Anita Rani. 

Participants can also expect to find themselves in the shoes of a rebellious teenager as she discovers her mother’s punk past; take part in one of the many South Asian daytime raves that took place across the UK in the 1980s and 1990s, and hear what earlier generations thought life would be like today while wearing a virtual reality headset.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The trail uses cine film and video home movie footage from the BBC and British Film Institute, as well as local archive materials to present a window into the past. The trail uses cine film and video home movie footage from the BBC and British Film Institute, as well as local archive materials to present a window into the past.

There will also be an immersive cinema experience unique to the city. Virtual maps have been created using 3D scans of the local buildings, people, objects and areas, telling stories of people and places. 

In Bradford, the map was developed by local spatial StoryMapper, Karol Wyszynski from the stories of local people and featured iconic places and local favourites such as City Park, Centenary Square and St Georges Hall. 

Karol Wyszynski and Hafsah Naib were two of just 50 emerging creatives around the UK to be selected to take part in the development.

Hafsah said: “It’s taken months of work to get to this point and we can’t believe we finally get to share it with everyone. It’s truly been a project by Bradford, for Bradford, created in Bradford. “

“We’ve unearthed incredible stories of powerful local characters that deserve to be told. We’ve worked closely with BFI and BBC archives to help tell those stories and we’re using new technologies like AR to bring them to life in a way that makes them accessible to all.”

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:

The trail is one of 15 taking place across the country, led by StoryFutures Academy, in collaboration with Royal Hollway, the University of London and the National Film and Television School.

Professor James Bennett, Director of StoryFutures and StoryTrails, said: “This is about getting people excited about where they live – helping them connect with stories of their towns and cities from the past and present through a new lens. New technologies like AR and VR can help build these connections and reignite people’s passion for the past. 

“These technologies are for everyone – we want to find ways to engage people from all generations and spark a genuine celebration in each of our incredible locations.”

StoryTrails Bradford live events take place 22-23 July 2022 

City Library Bradford, Centenary Square, 9 Aldermanbury, Bradford BD1 1SD

Library opening hours: Friday 22 July: 11-7, Saturday 23 July: 10-6 

The Story-Trails app will launch on iTunes and Google Play stores to coincide with the event. 

The app and immersive trail will be available online throughout 2022

Facebook and Instagram @StoryTrailsProject. Twitter @StoryFuturesA