Virtual Reality Exhibit Coming to South Lake Union Puts You Inside a Warzone

A traveling exhibition invites visitors to walk in the shoes of refugees.
Virtual reality helps simulate the refugee experience.

It’s hard for most of us to imagine the reality faced by the world’s estimated 65 million refugees: stay put in a war- or famine-ravaged home country, or flee to an unknown future with only a few possessions?

That’s the point of Forced from Home, a 10,000-square-foot traveling outdoor exhibit that lands in Seattle on Monday. Organized by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the international health organization working in countries such as South Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan, the event is designed to promote “a more nuanced understanding of the refugee crisis,” according to MSF communications director Michael Goldfarb.

The installation (which contains some content best suited for ages 12 and older) is staffed by real aid workers, and uses virtual-reality, 360-degree film technology and interactive simulations to help participants “get as close as they can to being in one of these settings,” Goldfarb says. “It’s an opportunity to step outside of yourself and to ponder for a moment what it must be like.”

Forced From Home
10/2–10/8. 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Free.
South Lake Union Discovery Center, 101 Westlake Ave. N


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