Silent No More: FSB’s Second Virtual Reality Experience Raises Awareness of Iraq’s Forgotten Genocide
By Kunal Chan Mehta, FSB’s Public Relations Manager, Article Date: 03 May 2023
FSB students and staff participated in a second ground-breaking Virtual Reality (VR) experience and immersive exhibition programme from ‘Nobody’s Listening’ – a moving exhibition that draws attention to extremist ideology and a call for justice on the Yazidi genocide in northern Iraq.
Dhaneswar Chooramun, FSB Croydon’s Academic Dean, who organised the event, said: ‘The horrors of terrorism have had a truly devastating impact on Iraq and its people, leading to the displacement of millions of Iraqis, the loss of countless lives, and the destruction of communities and cultural heritage. It is important to bring the atrocities of genocides to the fore of the international agenda to prevent them from happening again and VR is the best way to go about this.’
While using the VR system, Nicolas Cardy, FSB’s Quality Manager, expressed that no spoken presentation could have relayed the injustices faced by the Yazidi community so vividly: ‘The horrors of extremism and the violence against minority groups have been portrayed in an extremely powerful way using state-of-the-art technology that makes you feel as though you are there as a victim of the crimes. I have never experienced anything so shattering and stunning.’
The event, as part of a Prevent training for FSB staff and students, was held in collaboration with Cordelia Shaw, Croydon Council’s Prevent Training Officer, and touched upon how British Muslims reject all forms of terrorism yet still face prejudice in various aspects of British life.
The exhibition serves as a homage and tribute to the courage, determination, and agency of the survivors. Patrick Coombs, a student studying BA (Hons) Business And Management with Foundation Year at FSB Croydon, speaking about the event said: ‘I am grateful for this event focusing on real-world issues and helping those who are victims of extremist ideologies in obtaining justice.’
Ana Maria Kerekes, who studies BSc (Hons) Health and Social Care Management with Foundation Year, added: ‘This impactful event allowed students to step into an important historical moment and allowed them to empathise with the past.’
In addition to VR experiences, the exhibition also featured art and photography that explored the human cost of the genocide. ‘The photographs and art in the exhibition are incredibly powerful,’ said Mr Mohammed Zaidi, FSB’s CEO. ‘They bring home the reality of the situation and make you realise the urgent need for justice.’
Dr John Pomeroy, FSB’s Principal – and Prevent Governor – added that ‘the use of VR in education’ can offer a range of benefits for both students and educators, making it an ‘exciting and promising technology for the future of higher education.’
For more information visit: www.nobodys-listening.com
Read the full Counter-Extremism Strategy at Counter-Extremism Strategy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
For any inquiries, feedback, or additional information, please contact the author of this article, Kunal Chan Mehta via firstname.lastname@example.org.