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Seven grams

VARIETY | Karim Ben Khelifa’s intervention at New Images Festival

From the 23rd to the 27th of October, the 3rd edition of the New Images Festival took place at the Forum des Images, in Paris, France. Dedicated to presenting innovative projects to both professionals and the public, the festival presents a variety of XR, VR, and AR experiences. Among them, Karim Ben Khelifa’s  AR experience “Seven Grams”.

This project is co-produced by Lucid Realities, France Télévision, POV and Think Film, the experience gives the used the opportunity to visualise the content of their own phone, and the humanitarian cost behind it. On Thursday, September 24th, director Karim Ben Khelifa presented a prototype of the experience, which takes the form of a phone application to the visitors of New Images Festival. 

He explained,  during the live-streamed case study “Seven Grams: Solution Journalism and Augmented Reality”, the concept behind his next AR project – once again with the help of executive producer Chloé Jarry of Lucid Reality. Journalist Marta Balaga, from Variety, writes : “ As mentioned also in the short trailer, shown to the audience gathered in the room as well as the one watching online, “Seven Grams” is a global journalistic project that tells the story of smartphones through a smartphone, using AR. With each mobile containing roughly seven grams of precious minerals, like gold, one country in particular has an abundance of them: The Democratic Republic of Congo. “But for many, this has been a curse rather than a blessing,” it was said in the video materials, as they are often extracted in horrendous conditions, violating basic human rights.” Karim Ben Khelifa explained that the idea for Seven Grams was born in 2014, while he was doing his previous VR experience, The Enemy.

“I was in a mine in eastern Congo, taking photos with my phone.
Not realizing they are digging out the very minerals that are enabling me to do it. [I want to show] why are we using these minerals,
why they are indispensable and how they make the device you have
in your hand so powerful”.

Karim Ben Khelifa
Director of Seven Grams

From augmented reality to the use of charcoal drawings, from the technological dissection to the story of Chance, a congolese miner, abducted when he was only 12 years old and going through immense horror, the article details the different artistic choices made by the director.

If you’d like to learn more about Karim Ben Khelifa’s intervention at the New Images Festival, click here.

Source : Variety

Karim Ben Khelifa interviewed by Al Jazeera

On February 17th, Karim Ben Khelifa was interviewed by Al Jazeera in “The Stream : Is our hunger for technology dooming DR Congo?”. He presented Seven Grams and the issues raised by this augmented reality mobile application. Here is the video of his intervention and what the media writes about it :

“More than six billion smartphones are estimated to be in use worldwide, with their pocket-sized power reliant on rare earths and precious metals.

Most of us give little thought to the origin of the materials that drive our devices. But ‘Seven Grams‘, an app that recently featured in the New Frontier category at Sundance Film Festival, aims to change that.

The app blends journalism, augmented reality, and animation to show how global demand for ever-faster smartphones is harming people in parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, where minerals and metals essential for smartphones and other electronic devices are mined.

It’s thought that about 70 percent of the world’s cobalt is produced in DR Congo, much of it in the south and east of the country. While multinational mining companies extract most of this heavy metal, a substantial amount is mined by artisans who endure dangerous working conditions. Child labour is commonplace, while women often help prepare freshly-mined material. Medical researchers have drawn a link between workers’ exposure to toxic trace elements and birth defects in children.

The dangers don’t end at the rock face. With DR Congo still holding an estimated $24 trillion in untapped mineral deposits, some illegal armed groups rely on revenue from illicit mining to fund their continued operations. Human rights groups have documented that those same groups have brutalised civilians.

As multinational companies continue to rely on rare minerals in manufacturing, families in DR Congo have recently sought to highlight the impact of mining upon them. In December 2019 Apple, Tesla, Dell, Microsoft and Google were listed as defendants in a lawsuit filed on behalf of 14 families who say their children were killed or injured while mining cobalt. All five companies denied responsibility. While the case was eventually dismissed in November 2021, lawyers for the families have filed a notice of appeal.

In this episode of The Stream, we’ll look at how ‘Seven Grams’ highlights the human toll of mineral mining in DR Congo that is driven by the global hunger for electronic devices.”

Source :

Seven Grams presented at the Chur Theater Digidays

From the 7th to the 10th of March 2022 will be held the Digidays of the Swiss Theater of Chur. During this four days event, people will be able to discover several innovative works, workshops and projects binding art to technology. Among them, the mobile application in augmented reality augmentée Seven Grams will be presented to the public. 

This solution-journalism project composed in two parts (an interactive part in augmented reality followed by a short animation movie) has been directed by Karim Ben Khelifa and co-produced by Lucid Realities, France Télévisions, POV-Spark et Think Film, with the support of CNC and Occitanie region.

Through their very own mobile phones, Theater Chur visitors will have the possibility to educate themselves about the intricate thematics of African mines at the roots of our smartphones electronic components and more especially in Democratic Republic of Congo where the extraction and exploitation of these ressources seem far away from being real benefits to the country and its inhabitants.

 Source :


In a recent article, Techvangart reviews the best movies and XR experiences from the Sundance Festival 2022. Here is what they write about our project Seven Grams :

“A former war correspondent and photojournalist, Karim Ben Khelifa has been experimenting with new ways of practicing journalism, using emerging media as a way to engage audiences. 

After the success of VR experience The Enemy, Karim Ben Khelifa teams up once again with Lucid Reality’s executive producer Chloé Jarry. This time, using AR, you can witness the human cost that goes into producing smartphones in five chapters – 3 AR and 2 video materials.

The AR phone is remarkably smashed, so you can see each component. And each component is carefully analyzed.

Users will find out why each component is important from 

(1) a technical point of view when they use the phone,

(2)what rare minerals contain and ways these minerals are obtained;

(3) And the human cost of it: abuse and human exploitation linked to mineral extraction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It highlights how the perfect scheme work: fancy advanced phones for the world, and Congo remains without minerals, but with poverty.

Besides the technical and cold-analysis carried out, you will have in the end also personal stories highlighted.

A ineffaceable experience, all chapters are a balanced blend between cold-rigorous analysis specific to investigative journalism and emotional storytelling, highlighting the personal aspect of systematic abuse.

And knowing all these, interestingly enough, the director chose to present the whole story… on the sc(re)ene of the crime – directly on your mobile phone. As if while you are watching, it would ‘force’ you to admit… ‘even, right now, we are all part of it’.”

Source :

SEVEN GRAMS rewarded by the Digital Storytelling Award at the FIPADOC 2022

At the FIPADOC 2022, Seven Grams had the honour to receive the Digital Storytelling award, an award rewarding “a linear or interactive work of non‑fiction that presents a demanding narrative and innovative writing. The work should be produced using digital tools and technology, and could be distributed by any means”. 

Directed by Karim Ben Khelifa (The Enemy) and coproduced by Lucid Realities, France Télévision, POV-Spark and Think Film, with the support of CNC and Occitanie region, the application Seven Grams allows to grasp the disaster’s complexity of Congolese mines producing our smartphones’ electronic components and gives an account of our implication in this issue in an immersive experience combining augmented reality and animation movie.

The board was composed by members of the Scam’s Emerging Storytelling and Forms Commission : Géraldine Brezault, writer and filmmaker, Pascal Goblot, documentary and video maker, and Véronique Godé, journalist and filmmaker.

SEVEN GRAMS, official selection at the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

We are proud to announce that our project Seven Grams has been selected for the Sundance Film Festival 2022 in the category of New Frontier.

The category offers a powerful and bold selection of different projects and performances that make use of immersive technology to embrace the next era of digital storytelling.

Directed by Karim Ben Khelifa and coproduced by Lucid Realities, France Télévision, POV-Spark and Think Film, with the support of CNC and Occitanie region, Seven Grams has the aim to present the hidden ethical issues behind the production of personal electronical devices (smartphones, computers, etc.) and how this production relies on the exploitation of mineral extraction, process which affects physically and mentally many inhabitants of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who must deal with extremely bad working conditions.

The Project, thanks to the technology of augmented reality, dives the viewer into the reality and the process of the hidden costs of our electronical devices. This ethical issue is also presented through a short animated movie illustrated by TT Hernandez, which tells the story of Chance, a young man that has lived and survived the brutally experience of working for the mineral resource extraction.


Lucid Realities is honored to announce that the project Seven Grams has been selected for the 27th edition of Geneva International Film Festival (GIFF) that will take place from the 5th til the 14th of November 2021. 

Presented for the first time in Switzerland, Seven Grams has been selected among the non-competitive section of the future is sensible, a category dedicated to different social, ecological and technological issues, combined to movies and XR works that question ethical choices and their impact on the future. 

Seven Grams is an augmented reality project directed by Karim Ben Khelifa and co-produced by Lucid Realities, France Télévisions, POV-Spark and Think Film, with the support of CNC and Occitanie region. 

The project deals with the controversial production of electronic personal devices and how it has an enormous impact on the environment and on the inhabitants of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who are abused and exploited by this questionable economical business during the process of mineral extraction. This moral issue is also exposed as an animated short movie illustrated by TT Hernandez, which highlights even further through inspiring drawings this questionable reality.  


We are delighted to announce the preview of our new augmented reality project “SEVEN GRAMS” directed by Karim Ben Khelifa (The Enemy) at the Bayeux Calvados-Normandy War Correspondents Award, whose 28th edition will be held from October 4 to 10, 2021. An exhibition mixing several artifacts and a test area of the experience will be held at the Espace d’art actuel Le Radar and will last until October 31, 2021.

The Bayeux Prize rewards and pays tribute to reporters who exercise their profession in perilous conditions and allow us to access to free information. On this occasion and during a week, various events will be organized around the French and foreign media.

Discover from October 5th, the new exhibition SEVEN GRAMS at the Espace d’art actuel Le Radar at 24, rue des Cuisiniers in Bayeux. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 2:30 to 6:30 pm, Saturday from 2 to 7 pm. Exceptional openings, Friday, October 8 from 2:30 pm to 7 pm and Saturday, October 9 from 10 am to 12 am and from 1 pm to 5 pm (continuous day). Free entrance

LATAM DIGITAL MEDIA | Karim Ben Khelifa at the 2019 LATAM in Rio de Janeiro

From November 11th to November 13th took place the 2019 DIGITAL MEDIA LATAM, the Digital Media industry’s leading event in Latin American. Taking place in one of Latin America’s most vibrant cities – Rio de Janeiro, the event welcomed over 400 participants from over 22 countries, and 175 media companies.

During this carefully tailored program of  workshops, keynote sessions, panel discussions, fireside chats, networking events, partner demos, and report launches, journalist and XR director Karim Ben Khelifa  was invited to share his experience working on The Enemy, a multi-awarded VR Journalistic project.

Moderated by Marcelo Lins, Karim presented “Journalism, technology and empathy: the case of The Enemy”. Using the latest virtual reality and augmented reality technology, Karim shared the behind the scenes of the experience  through which he has managed to immerse his audience in the heart of the most complex armed conflicts on the planet. An example of how these technologies enhance the impact that journalism can have on audiences.

After The Enemy, Karim’s thirst for new forms of journalism and new forms of narrative has not quenched: Karim Ben Khelifa is currently working on a new journalistic experience, this time using Augmented Reality technology. Hoping to raise awareness on the human cost of electronic device production, Karim thought of Seven Grams, an AR app available on the App store (IOS) and the Play Store (Android). The experience allows the user to discover the dramatic reality of the Congolese mineral extraction industry, enforced by the cellphone and electronic device industry.

Seven grams at the IDFA

IDFA | Seven Grams selected at the IDFA DocLab Forum 2019

The IDFA Forum is one of the most influential meeting places for filmmakers, creators, and producers working on ground-breaking creative documentaries and new media projects. The event takes place during the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, a festival supported by The Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and Creative Europe Media .

From November 24th to 27th 2019, 60 different projects in the field of documentary and new media were selected to pitch  and present their idea, out of 730 submitted projects.  Among them, Karim Ben Khelifa’s new AR journalistic project was selected. Thus, Seven Grams was presented at the IDFA DocLab Forum Selection, a showcase of the best interactive non-fiction storytelling and explores how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art, among 17 projects dedicated to new forms of journalism. 

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