The Dutch East and West India Companies once controlled vast trading networks that stretched from the Cape of Good Hope to the Indonesian archipelago, and from New York to South America's Wild Coast. Although they came in pursuit of short-term profits, the companies left behind a legacy that can still be seen in the cultures, and in the bloodlines, of people and communities around the world.
Shot in ten countries over the course of four years, Empire employs human-scaled storytelling to explore how the conditions of the past impact our lives in the present.
Directed, produced, shot and edited by
Web DevelopmentGenevieve Hoffman
Additional DevelopmentSam Bailey
Exec. Producer for POV DigitalAdnaan Wasey
UX and Graphic DesignClint Beharry
POV Technology FellowBrian Chirls
Exec. Producer for POVSimon Kilmurry
Use your mouse to flip the video
Drag to the left to spend time in the morgue
Drag to the right to spot planes
Your choices will be noted
This is the path you took.
If you could try again, what would you do differently?
A Nazi reenactment group in Indonesia.
A tombstone factory in India.
A whites-only community in South Africa.
A living god in Sri Lanka.
Navigate between these stories to discover the global web of connections that is the Dutch East India Company's legacy.
The world watches an ever-repeating cycle of stories
about the aftershocks of the Dutch slave trade.
Only by enduring the complete cycle can you liberate yourself from the loop.
Two stories play out on opposite sides of the world.
In the US, a man forsakes his childhood dreams to play the part society has written for him.
In Australia, a man draws on a disputed history to create a new identity.
Watch Empire: Periphery to meet two men who are each other's reflection.
Move your mouse to rotate the world
up for the US
down for Australia
or try to find some common ground
This is the world you experienced
Try again to change your perspective