RT Creative Lab has released ‘Children of the Siege: VR Sketches,’ an animated film about Leningrad children during WWII (VIDEO).


RT Creative Lab has released ‘Children of the Siege: VR Sketches,’ an animated film about Leningrad children during WWII (VIDEO).

In the two months after WWII broke out in the Soviet Union, about 300,000 children were evacuated from Leningrad. Over 400 thousand children were trapped within the city when the siege began in September 1941.

Children in besieged Leningrad knew little other but hunger and cold, and they grew up hearing shelling and explosions. The siege lasted 872 days, which was a long time. Although the exact number of civilians killed during the siege is unknown, it is usually assumed that around 1.2 million died.

Children were encouraged to cope with the tragedies of war through drawing lessons in kindergartens, orphanages, and schools. The Museum of History in St. Petersburg has retained over 700 unique children’s drawings drawn during the Siege of Leningrad for decades (September 8, 1941-January 27, 1944). These drawings depict a child’s perspective on wartime events, revealing their emotions and comprehension of the situation. Almost every drawing is accompanied with a text — a brief story written by a child about the subject of the drawing. Educators frequently recorded and pasted such stories into albums, carefully preserving them as historical documents.

RT Creative Lab and a group of brilliant artists (Denis Semionov, Rosie Summers, Sutu Eats Flies, and VRHUMAN) collaborated to create ‘Children of the Siege: VR Sketches,’ a film that interprets these drawings, as well as pictures from the time of the siege, in VR animation.

The film is the finale of the ‘War: Kids’ drawings in VR animation’ Facebook series, which is part of the broader cross-platform #VictoryPages initiative, which commemorates the 75th anniversary of Nazi defeat.

Through the firsthand accounts of contemporaries, #VictoryPages provides an opportunity to assess the magnitude of May 9, 1945, the day the war in the Soviet Union ended. During the war, about 27 million people were murdered or perished. In Russia, Victory Day is significant because every family had a war hero who returned home or died in battle.

Various #VictoryPages series have won a slew of prizes, including Webby Awards, Clio Awards, Epica Awards, Shorty Social Good Awards, and Red Dot Awards, to name a few.

The RT Creative Lab is a digital in-house team inside the RT international news network that has been nominated for an Emmy.

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