The process of capturing Virtual Reality content has been one of the most challenging, dangerous and worthy experiences for the team. We captured content in Italy, Albania, Greece, Turkey and now Iraq. It has been a tough trip: we were chased out of the refugee camp by police in Kavala Greece, our car broke down in Turkey, we had to take a 30-hour bus to the border and then we got detained in Silopi by police for 6 hours. We were accused of entering Iraq illegally through a river and of being CIA. We were detained without an explanation and put in a van without windows and Kalashnikov assault rifles were on the floor.
It has been worth it to get to know the migrants on a personal level, hearing their stories, sharing meals, giving them the chance to share their experience and express themselves to the world in their words through virtual reality. They have been sharing everything, from their art and their hobbies to their relationships and hopes for the future.
We have also conducted first-hand interviews with lawyers, guards, volunteers, journalists, neighbors, politicians, and refugees in the United States. In February, we went to the Border of El Paso and Juarez where we witnessed the realities of what is happening to asylum seekers, the tragedies along with the miracles, friendships, and the wounds of indifference. We recorded everything. We have photos, virtual reality content, audio of incidents that were too dangerous to film and iPhone footage for the times it was even more dangerous to record.
EXI(S)T is here to show the world the magnificence and uniqueness of the multicultural community we have come to be part of and love.