Syrian Refugee VR Experience
Working in the arts sector often throws opportunities to work on projects that have great social and long-term value. So, when we were invited to create an immersive experience based on the lives of a Syrian refugee family living in Lancaster, we couldn’t wait to get to grips with the source material, meet the family, and work out how we could best create something meaningful.
Working with the Karin Family, Global Link, and the YMCA to create a custom experience.
The family were originally from Syria and fled due to persecution and later settled into life in Lancaster. The story we have told focusses on the family life before the war, the conflict of war, and settlement in a new country. The experience is designed to show non-refugees a snapshot of what life is like to flee a country and to have to settle in an unfamiliar country.
The experience is a documentary, an immersive 360 film, and has been made for Oculus Rift headsets and Oculus Go Devices.
Getty War Footage, licenced and included in the experience.
Working with Global Link we were able to offer advice and assistance on the best way to approach making the experience, including what audio and visual shots we should aim for to create the experience and how the experience could be distributed. Importantly, we asked some tough questions, including if immersive technology was the best medium to use? We were able to conclude it was the best technology to use as it offered the ability to place the user directly in the shoes of a member of the Karin family.
The experience was created to be distributed in schools as an educational piece. This was intended to be used in a headset, and the experience has been delivered as a 360 film, offering 3 degrees of freedom, and including some animation of 3D models in the experience (look out for the plane!). Covid-19 has caused a slight delay in distribution, but it is aimed to be delivered in 2021. The immersive experience is not currently in the public domain, but plans are in place to distribute at a later date.