Khaled Hosseini's VR Experience 'Sea Prayer' Develops Around the Viewer

"Using Tilt Brush technology for the first time in this way, Sea Prayer explores a new immersive form - 360 illustrated narratives."
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Written by Khaled Hosseini,

Sea Prayer

is a new virtual reality (VR) project from The Guardian, designed to commemorate the second anniversary of the tragic death of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned while attempting to reach Greece in 2015.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and author Khaled Hosseini wrote

Sea Prayer

, an imagined letter in the form of a monologue, from a Syrian father to his son lying asleep on his lap, on the eve of making the sea crossing to Europe to seek refuge and safety.

A narrative animated virtual reality film created using Tilt Brush, a tool for painting in a 3D space with virtual reality,

Sea Prayer

was designed by VR artist Liz Edwards and post production studio SoWhen?.

Sea Prayer

develops around the viewer, with images growing and new characters coming into view as the story progresses allowing the viewer to be immersed in the story as it is being narrated to them.

"Using Tilt Brush technology for the first time in this way,

Sea Prayer

explores a new immersive form - 360 illustrated narratives," says Francesca Panetta, executive editor, virtual reality, Guardian News & Media. "We have worked with the best artists in this field to create a story that truly unfolds around the viewer, providing them with insight into the experiences that many migrants are forced to endure when making a dangerous escape from war."

As the drownings in the Mediterranean Sea sadly continue, I hope that this collaboration helps keep alive the memory of Alan Kurdi," says Khaled Hosseini, "and that it serves as reminder of the unfathomable desperation that forces families to risk all they have in search of hope and safety on another shore, across the waters. This is a choice that no one, and certainly not a father, makes lightly.

"We all have an individual duty to let our Governments know that we stand #WithRefugees and that we welcome the urgent expansion of alternative and safe pathways for those in need of international protection."

The Guardian Launches VR-Illustrated 360 Short Film Sea Prayer

How Khaled Hosseini Finds Hope in Telling Refugees' Stories

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