Press release: Virtual Reality in a refugee camp:Â The hopelessness is visible and tangible
Next week, the war in Syria will enter itâ€™s sixth year. The conditions in which most refugeesÂ find themselves are inhumane and degrading. VR Gorilla and Stichting Vluchteling, a DutchÂ refugee foundation, show this with four portraits, in virtual reality.
You find yourself standing in the middle of a refugee camp in northern Iraq. You look aroundÂ and you can see first hand the abominable circumstances. You can feel their endless, bitterÂ situation. While experiencing all of this, you can hear the horrific stories of differentÂ refugees. This is the power of virtual reality according to VR Gorilla. And for many refugeesÂ this is the grim reality of every day.
There is a shortage of shelter for Syrian refugees in the four neighboring countries. CountriesÂ like Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are having trouble to shelter the 4,2 million SyrianÂ refugees they have already taken in. The provision of food is limited, proper places to sleepÂ are scarce and costly and medical care is often not available. Hundreds of thousands ofÂ children havenâ€™t gone to school for years, and sometimes have to beg to collect a bit ofÂ money for their families.
VR Gorilla, an Amsterdamâ€based virtual reality content producer, developed in collaborationÂ with Stichting Vluchteling and The International Rescue Committee four portraits ofÂ refugees and internally displaced people in Kurdistan, Iraq. The project is called TheÂ Pursuit of Happiness. The 360â€degree recordings in the refugee camps are daunting, you canÂ see and actually feel the abominable circumstances.
â€œItâ€™s strange to be enthusiastic about something so horrifyingly cruel. But it shows a fairÂ representation of what itâ€™s like to be there. The misery feels so real, you can almost touchÂ it,â€Â saidÂ Tineke Ceelen, CEO of Stichting Vluchteling. â€œI wish everyone could see this.â€.
These short documentaries will be used by Stichting Vluchteling to inform the Dutch publicÂ and to recruit donors.
For more information about our emergency relief for Syrian refugees, visitÂ www.opvanginderegio.nl.