Flora – Let your Gender Blossom – An immersive experience about the lives of transgender in South Asia

Arifa Asif

Hochschule Darmstadt


M.A.: Expanded Media, Immersive Installation

The existence of life as we know it is dependent on the richness and variety of species that inhabit our planet. It was the huge diversity of flowers that marked the terrestrial revolution on earth which led to the present form of life. This diversity of flowers is not only important to the ecosystem but also holds immense value for evolution. People appreciate the beauty and diversity of flowers, yet fail to extend the same level of respect and recognition to the diversity of human genders. This lack of appreciation for human diversity is a significant problem and requires urgent rectification. Flora is an immersive experience that is unique in its approach to fighting against transphobia. Its purpose is to foster empathy within society for transgender individuals. At the core of this campaign is the idea of rehumanizing transgender people, with the aim of changing the way society views and treats them. This project has two main phases: the first phase aims to raise awareness through social media, while the second phase involves an immersive exhibition. This exhibition features a range of exciting components, including scenography, AR paintings, and merchandise. Birds of Paradise The motivation behind the campaign is rooted in addressing discrimination against transgender individuals. A lack of understanding about transgender people is a major cause of transphobia. In the Western world media campaigns and marches have helped to increase awareness of the LGBTQ+ community and promote their rights and acceptance in society. While there are existing campaigns to increase awareness and understanding of transgender issues, our approach aims to further build upon these efforts and offer a unique perspective. We aim to portray transgender individuals as normal human beings with a wide range of emotions and immersive experiences. By doing so, our mission is to dispel the notion that they are different from us and to promote empathy and understanding. Our immersive approach to this campaign ensures that the message is impactful and long-lasting. The heart of our campaign is the concept of rehumanization of transgender individuals, as we seek to change the way society perceives and treats them. The concept proposed to draw a parallel between the diversity of flowers and the diversity of human gender, emphasizing the importance of embracing and celebrating individual differences. The idea was inspired by the critical role that flower diversity has played in human evolution, and the concept aimed to highlight the value of recognizing and appreciating the diversity of human genders. To effectively symbolize this connection, we decided to use the bird of paradise flower. This flower was chosen because it is a visually striking plant species that thrives in tropical paradises, despite its resemblance to a bird. By selecting the bird of paradise as a symbol of the connection between flower diversity and human gender diversity, the concept aimed to promote a positive and empowering message that could inspire individuals to be more accepting and supportive of others. The project journey of Flora involved extensive research, planning, and development to create a comprehensive and impactful campaign that raised awareness about the issues faced by the transgender community in India and Pakistan. The project journey is designed to give a clear overview of the project after developing the whole experience concept. The project journey of Flora is divided into 3 parts: 1. Pre-campaign 2. Immersive exhibition 3. Merchandise for a cause