For the eighth year running, we had the honour to be involved in showcasing the plight of displaced people through building an interactive refugee experience.
This project was on behalf of the Hong Kong based NGO, Crossroads Foundation. Their intention for this campaign is to bring the plight of refugees around the world to the attention of politicians and chief executives who attend the World Economic Forum in Davos.
In excess of 500 delegates were invited to participate in A day in the life of a refugee Experience. The set this year was the biggest so far, occupying over 600 square metres of the underground car park below the Hilton Hotel.
A totally immersive experience
To be completely immersed in the experience they were given a costume, an ID and play money.
Divya Badri, one of the participants described, “I was ‘in the shoes’ of a woman, who has been forced to leave from home by war, and looking for her father.”
She goes on to say, “I did not know who the others next to me were. I felt helpless, disempowered, sad to feel that home is no longer safe. We were briefed that if it was “too much” we could leave anytime but were also gently reminded that real refugees cannot walk away from such situations.”
Following the simulation was a debrief where participants could discuss their feelings and then hear from real refugees about their own experiences.
For us, each year brings additional challenges and the desire to improve and extend the set and the experience for the delegates.
This year, the set incorporated a full backlit cyclorama (a circular picture of a 360° scene), which created the illusion of a dramatic landscape.
However, some things are totally beyond our control, namely 1.5 metres of snowfall. Luckily, the crew knew how to embrace the weather conditions and enjoy some lighter moments!