(Courtesy of @forcedfromhome)

This Refugee-Immersive Experience Makes its Bay Area Debut This Week

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They say that the ultimate, purest act of empathy is walking hand-in-hand with someone during their most testing times.

This weekend, courtesy of Forced From Home—an interactive exhibition showcasing the plights faced by global refugees— you can do just that. See what it's like to be suddenly purged from your home and, in the bat of an eye, find yourself at the mercy of the world around you.

In partnership with Doctors Without Borders, Forced From Home exposes exhibit goers to the elemental conditions and logistical turmoils that now face more than 65 million displaced people worldwide. The outdoor exhibition is currently touring across the Western United States, stopping right here in Oakland this week.

Exhibit attendees will navigate a 10,000-square-foot installation, designed to help those who walk through it garner a small sense of the challenges confronting a person forced to flee their otherwise safe living spaces in mere minutes, if not seconds. Visitors can expect to engage with stories and materials gathered from refugee camps from across the world; sea rescue missions and emergency medical projects, too, can be found dotted through the multi-sensory installation.

Throughout the tour, Doctors Without Borders aid workers will provide narration and insight into the ongoing humanitarian relief efforts underway on the front lines bordering in-need communities. The immersive, comprehensive experience—which includes VR headsets and a 360° video dome that take participants to conflicts in South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Syria—begs the question: what can you do to help? After trudging through the nine-part experience, consider donating to help Doctors Without Borders, so that they can continue their global philanthropic endeavors.

Admission to the exhibit is free; simply walk-up to the Lake Merritt Amphitheater and prepare to open your heart to the experience that lies ahead of you. // 9am - 5pm, Oct 30th - Nov 5th, Between 12th Street and 1st Ave (Oakland), forcedfromhome.com

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