Doctors Without Borders to launch interactive exhibit on Santa Monica Pier

“Forced from Home” takes visitors into the lives of displaced people
Photo by Julia Vandenoever

International humanitarian aid provider Doctors Without Borders will attempt to communicate the scope and severity of the global refugee crisis through a 10,000-square-foot interactive exhibit opening next week on Santa Monica Pier.

“Forced from Home” replicates conditions in refugee camps and relates true stories of asylum seekers through physical installations, immersive video, virtual reality and tour guides with firsthand experience as aid workers around the globe.

Laure Weber, a Pacific Palisades-based clinical psychologist who has worked as a mental health supervisor in South Sudan, Ukraine, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, is among those leading tours during the exhibits Nov. 13 to 19 run. She’s counseled the displaced and impoverished victims of mutilation, survivors of rape, and witnesses to family members being murdered — as well as some of the doctors and nurses who volunteer to treat them.

Visitors to the traveling exhibit “get a good sense of why people flee their homes and what they lose along the way. In Sudan, some people walked 200 kilometers [125 miles] with nothing more than the clothes on their back. … It’s remarkable, the resilience I’ve seen,” said Weber.

“Doctors Without Borders wants people to see what’s happening with the migration crisis,” she said. “Personally, I’m bearing witness for the people I saw, and I’m speaking out about what happened to them because they can’t.”

For more information about the exhibit, visit forcedfromhome.com.

— Joe Piasecki

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