What if your home becomes the place you fear? An Iraqi father returns to Fallujah to face the threat of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Through this virtual reality experience, join him in his home and discover the unfolding of a tragic event. HOME AFTER WAR is a room-scale, interactive virtual reality experience that takes you to Fallujah, a city that was, until recently, under Islamic State (IS) control. The war against IS has ended but the city is still unsafe.
WARNING: This experience contains disturbing content. Viewer discretion is advised. It may not be suitable for people with photosensitive epilepsy or post-traumatic stress disorder.
There’s one looming fear for returning refugees – booby trapped homes and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the neighbourhoods. Since the end of the war, thousands of civilians have died or been injured by IEDs. Ahmaied Hamad Khalaf and his family returned home after the fighting subsided. In the experience, you find yourself in Ahmaied’s home, which still shows signs of the damage from the war.
Explore Ahmaied’s home by either walking physically or teleporting in the space as he tells you his story about returning to a home that might be booby trapped. Witness life outside the four walls of his house through 360° videos embedded in the space. Hear Ahmaied speak of his loss and his hopes for his family, country and the world. Learn about what it’s like to fear the home you once loved.
Gayatri Parameswaran is an award winning immersive journalist from India who believes in the power of stories to transform. She co-runs a storytelling studio in Berlin called NowHere Media specializing in documentaries and social impact. Her work explores taboo topics such as war, peace, intimate partner violence and abortion, and she is most excited by using VR as a medium to create realities for a desirable future. Gayatri has worked in over 30 countries, including Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Myanmar, India, Mexico, Nicaragua and the United States. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW, United Nations, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Bergen International Film Festival and beyond. Her journalistic reports have been published in Al Jazeera English, Deutsche Welle, Narratively, The Caravan and more. Her last piece HOME AFTER WAR was part of the Oculus VR for Good Creators’ Lab 2017 and won the Social Impact Media Award 2019 for Best VR Experience and the Jury Prize for Best Journalistic Achievement. Gayatri has been a Rise Up Fellow, a German Chancellor Fellow, an Erasmus Mundus scholar, and a gold medalist at University of Mumbai.
Felix Gaedtke is an XR storyteller and creative producer currently based in Berlin. Having started out as a journalist and photographer covering humanitarian crisis and environmental stories, he has worked in over 40 countries co-creating stories with local collaborators – from covering the war in Syria to documenting snow leopards in the Himalayas. Felix has developed a vivid interest for documentaries and their ability to allow audiences to better understand the protagonists’ realities as well as the common reality we all live in. He’s become more aware of the negative news bias as well as his own bias as a white Caucasian male telling stories. This has resulted in a deep commitment to co-create stories that fairly reflect the reality we live in. He co-founded the immersive storytelling studio NowHere Media to continue working in the realm of social documentaries. His passion to convey different realities across the world has led him to working with VR and AR storytelling techniques. His most recent work HOME AFTER WAR takes you into the lives of Iraqi civilians and their struggle with explosives left behind after the recent war with ISIS, and uses photogrammetry to give people a realistic impression of the country. Felix’s immersive works have been exhibited at the Venice International Film Festival, SXSW, the UN, Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Bergen International Film Festival and beyond.