Her Name Was Gisberta


Seu Nome Era Gisberta
Her Name Was Gisberta (2023)

Immersive / 360° Video | 2D
30 min - Documentary
LGBTQIA+ / Social Activism
Portuguese with English Subtitles

“Seu Nome Era Gisberta / Her Name Was Gisberta”
is a VR documentary that portrays the life and death of Gisberta Salce, a Brazilian Trans woman murdered by 14 young men (12 - 16 years old) in the city of Porto (Portugal) in 2006. Uniting the knowledge provided by Virtual Reality Perspective-Taking Tasks, this project was created as a tool of education, social intervention and activism against transphobia.

Project Description

Gisberta Salce, also known as Gis, was a Trans Woman who immigrated to Portugal in search of a place where she could express her true identity without fear. This powerful 360° Video reenacts her remarkable journey, tragically culminating in one of the most publicized Transphobic attacks in Portuguese history.
Crafted with the intention of shedding light on the dangers of Transphobia, this project employs techniques from social psychology, such as Virtual Reality Perspective Taking-Tasks (Van Loon et al., 2018) and Empathy studies.

By harnessing the potential of VR for social education and intervention against Transphobia, it serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to combat prejudice.
Focused on the Brazilian society, which shares Gisberta’s nationality and stands as the unfortunate epicenter of Trans assassinations globally for the 14th year running (ANTRA, 2023), this art activism initiative seeks to unveil Gisberta’s untold story and raise awareness about the imperative to protect Trans individuals worldwide.

A story without a middle”

This 360° Video challenges the narrative propagated by Portuguese media. Drawing from meticulous research encompassing 68 news articles, it weaves Gisberta’s life story that was largely omitted from mainstream discourse. The narrative is curated from interviews with close friends, LGBTQ+ activists, queer institutions, and fellow artists.

Presented in five acts, viewers embark on an immersive journey through Gisberta’s 45-year life. The experience is enriched by a symbolic narration by Trans Brazilian Woman, Alexia Vitória. Her voice guides viewers not to emulate Gisberta’s voice but to amplify the collective voice of Transphobia’s victims.

Created by a dedicated trio of queer artists – Sérgio Galvão Roxo (Director, Writer, Animator, Editor), Pedro Velho (Illustrator, Writer, Director Assistant), and Alexia Vitória (Narrator) – this project stands as a grassroots endeavor without external funding.

Our aim is to foster education and consciousness, illuminating not only the life tragically lost to Transphobia but also the imperative to safeguard Trans lives across the globe.

Screenings (VR)

10-15 October 2023
DOK Leipzig - DOK Neuland
Leipzig, Germany
> festival link
24-29 October 2023
27th Ji.hlava IDFF
Jihlava, Czech Republic
> festival link
09-12 March 2024
SXSW 2024
XR Experience Spotlight
Austin, USA
> festival link
5-14 April 2024
KABOOM Animation Festival
VR Projects
Utrecht & Amsterdam, Netherlands
24 June - 01 July 2024
FEST - New Directors | New Films Festival

Espinho, Portugal


Special Thanks to
Jó Bernardo, Rute Bianca, Sérgio Vitorino, João Paulo,
Jo Schedlbauer, Thiago Carvalhaes, Paulo Patricio,
Centro de Documentação Gonçalo Diniz (ILGA Portugal),
Grupo de Reflexão e Intervenção Trans (GRIT),
TransUnifesp and Polytechnic University of Leiria.


Director: Sérgio Galvão Roxo

Assistant Director: Pedro Velho

Screenplay: Pedro Velho & Sérgio Galvão Roxo

Narrator/Voice: Alexia Vitória

Illustrator: Pedro Velho

Animator: Sérgio Galvão Roxo

Editor: Sérgio Galvão Roxo

Sound: Pedro Velho & Sérgio Galvão Roxo