Innovation for Democracy Café
Innovation for Democracy Cafe: Can VR Augment the Experience of Human Rights and Democracy Education?

I4D Cafe 5th episode
© FNF Global Innovation Hub

Have you ever tried Virtual Reality (VR) movie or games? On Sept. 25, 2023, 17:00-18:00 (GMT+8), the 5th Innovation for Democracy Cafe will discover how to use VR to innovate the approaches of human rights and democracy education with two experts: Ms Singing Chen and Ms Zoe Lee! This time, we will hold the Cafe both on-site at Woomanpower (1F, No. 153-1, Sec. 1, Keelung Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei) and online via webex. If you choose to attend it on-site, you will get the chance to experience "The Rooms: Stories from Hongkonger in Exile” during 18:00-19:00 (GMT+8)!  Register here!

Since the term “Metaverse” became a buzzword in 2021, Virtual Reality (VR) has become a technology that attracts many investors and companies to develop VR applications, apps, or programs that can turn human beings’ imaginations into something they can experience. VR can also allow people to experience existing things, experiences, places regardless of time and locations. Of course, risk will always exist in any universe that allows people to establish their fantasies without limit. In addition, there is still a debate on what people should be allowed to experience though VR and to what extend.

However, we would like to explore whether this feature of VR, which allows people to experience or augment their existing experience, can deepen people’s understanding of democracy and human rights. If we found that words and texts have its limit in educating people how important democracy, freedom, and human rights are, could VR be a possible new approach? If democracy, freedom, and human rights become something people can “feel” though VR, will it facilitate people to understand why these values matter? With the passing of time, the history of struggling for democracy will definitely gradually became too distant. Can VR help us and future generations to remember such history and thus understand why we need to cherish and safeguard the existing democracy? Let’s find out with our guests.

In this episode, we invited Ms. Singing Chen and Ms. Zoe Lee to share their experiences. Ms. Chen is the director of The Man Who Couldn’t Leave—a VR film that tells the story of Taiwan’s White Terror victims. The movie won the “Best Experience” prize of Venice Immersive Competition at the Venice International Film Festival. Ms Zoe Lee leads the work of The Rooms: Stories from Hongkonger in Exile” VR project, allowing people to understand Hong Kong exiles’ lives, emotions, struggles, and expectations after they moved to Taipei. If you have VR equipments, you can also use it to experience the VR rooms by clicking here.

Meet our Guests

Ms. Singing Chen
© The Walkers Films

Singing Chen, Director

Singing Chen’s work encompasses fiction, documentary and VR films. Her debut, Bundled (2000) competed for the Dragons & Tigers Award at VIFF. Her next feature, God, Man, Dog (2007) screened at Berlinale, Vancouver, HK, Busan and elsewhere. Her films focus on characters on the margins of society (e.g. The Pig (2013), co-d. Jero Yun). Her documentaries (e.g. The Walkers (2014)) detail artistic practice, dance and the environment. Her fascination with space and movement led her to explore VR technology: Afterimage for Tomorrow (2018) was exhibited at the New Image Festival . Her latest VR experience The Man Who Couldn’t Leave (2022), premiered and won the Best Immersive Experience Award at Venice Film Festival, recounts events from the White Terror of the 1950s. Her collective work is marked by a deep empathy for disenfranchised characters and a strong sense of social justice.

Ms. Zoe Lee
© Ms. Zoe Lee is the author of this picture and authorizes FNF to use it under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Zoe Lee, Journalist, READr

Zoe used to work as a weekly magazine journalist with no specific news focus, exploring a variety of topics. In 2017, she joined a team where over half of the members were web engineers and started developing a data-driven mindset. She enjoys the unrestricted nature of data journalism and feels like she is learning something new every day. Her work has been nominated for major domestic and international journalism awards, including SOPA Awards and the Taiwan Sustainable News Award.

Please click here to register before September 22, GMT+8 12:00pm. Before registration, please read:

  • This event will be conducted in English. Ms Singing Chen will present in Mandarin Chinese, but FNF will provide Chinese-English two way simultaneous interpretation. Should you need interpretation, you can borrow interpretation headphones from FNF reception desk if you attend the event on-site; if you attend the event online, please select the language channel you need through webex interpretation bottom.

  • This event will be held both on-site at Woomanpower (1F, No. 153-1, Sec. 1, Keelung Rd., Xinyi Dist., Taipei) and online via webex. Only participants who registered for attending the event on site will have the opportunity to experience The Rooms: Stories from Hongkonger in Exile” VR exhibition.

  • It takes around 30 minutes to experience The Rooms: Stories from Hongkonger in Exile” VR project.

  • Due to the limited amount of equipments and time, we can only allow around 10 participants who register before the event to experience the exhibition, and we will close registration for the exhibition once the quota is full. Please register as early as possible.

  • If a participant who registers for the exhibition fails to attend on the event day, we will transfer the absent participant’s admission to other participant who is at the event venue.

  • To some people, VR may cause nausea and dizziness. Please consider your health condition before you register for the VR exhibition.


Should you have any question, please write to