A Russian activist was reportedly arrested earlier this month for wearing a VR headset as she explored the famous Red Square in the capital city of Moscow.
Katrin Nenasheva is an activist that has in the past worked with members of protest band Pussy Riot and others. Over the past month Nenasheva has been walking the streets and sites of Moscow effectively blindfolded with a VR headset on. She’s been keeping a blog that you can follow here but there’s also a video of her adventure below. Her aim was to show off daily life in Moscow to Russian psychiatric patients whilst also raising awareness for them through the publicity. We’re not exactly sure how the headset is showcasing the world around her as it doesn’t look like it features a lot for the camera to see through.
However Nensheva was met with resistence on the very first day, as police arrested her for wearing the device in Red Square, Russia Beyond The Headlines reports.
In a Facebook post, Nensheva said that after five minutes of walking around with the headset on police had told her: “It’s strictly forbidden to be in virtual reality in a public place. Here it’s the real world.”
“В виртуальной реальности ни в коем случае нельзя находится в общественном месте. Здесь мир реальный.”,- сказали сотруд…
She was then taken to a police precinct, though later released without charges. As you can see on her blog, that hasn’t stopped her from carrying on with her act.
“Russia has about 150,000 people in psychiatric clinics, which still use Soviet methods such as isolating patients from the outside world behind a concrete wall,” Nenasheva told RBTH. “What happens to a person who, because of his or her life circumstances, lives in isolation? What happens to their perception, body, and relation to surrounding spaces? Together with psychiatric patients we study these issues on the streets of Moscow, live and on a daily basis.”