October 23, 2016

“Forced From Home” Interactive Exhibition Opens at Schenley Plaza, Experienced Aid Workers Give Firsthand Accounts of Global Refugee Crisis

PITTSBURGH, OCTOBER 24, 2016 – The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) brings its free, educational exhibit on the global refugee crisis to Pittsburgh this week. Thousands of visitors are expected to attend “Forced From Home” in Schenley Plaza. The exhibition seeks to put a face on the ongoing global refugee crisis through guided tours and virtual reality (VR) film. Forced From Home discusses the migration of millions, illustrates the conditions in which refugees live and offers firsthand accounts from aid workers, who bring their experience helping displaced people around the world. 

Forced From Home will be in Pittsburgh from October 27-31, before finishing its tour in Philadelphia. The exhibition launched in New York and was recently in Washington, D.C. and Boston. 

“Our objective is to provide a sense of what people experience as they cross treacherous seas, travel through dangerous migratory routes and arrive at refugee camps,” said Jason Cone, executive director of MSF-USA. “People fleeing for their lives are too often reduced to numbers and statistics. I've talked with people in refugee and internally displaced persons’ camps from South Sudan to Lebanon. They are far from passive victims. They are mothers and fathers wanting the best possible future for their children. They are some of the bravest and most resilient individuals I have ever met. Through this exhibit, we put a human face on those staggering numbers to show the public what it looks like, feels like and what it means, to be forced from home.” 

MSF is on the frontlines of all facets of the migration and refugee crisis and is committed to speaking out on behalf of its patients. Forced From Home is designed to bring the refugee crisis closer to home and show what life is like for refugees fleeing crises in places such as Afghanistan, Burundi, Honduras, Syria and South Sudan. With an MSF aid worker as their guide, visitors navigate an outdoor immersive, 10,000-square-foot exhibition space as a refugee or internally displaced person – to help them understand why so many risk it all in search of safety. 

"The refugee crisis is not about numbers, statistics or political platforms. It's about people – mothers, fathers and children – forced from their own homes,” said Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, “This exhibit is a great reminder that there are thousands of people who need relief, hope and opportunity.” 

The exhibition also includes a VR experience. Upon arrival, visitors walk through a 30-foot-diameter dome to watch an enveloping, 360-degree video that brings them up close with individuals, families and aid workers in refugee camp and displacement settings. Visitors also have the opportunity to watch one of three original documentaries in VR that take a closer look at patients escaping crises in Burundi, Honduras and Syria. 

Full details for registration, related events and exhibition dates for Forced From Home are available at forcedfromhome.com. Exhibit updates can be found by following @ForcedFromHome on Twitter or Instagram

Upcoming tour dates and cities:

  • November 5-13: Independence Mall in Philadelphia, PA

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organization that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters, and exclusion from health care. MSF offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender, or political affiliation.

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