United Nations Headquarters
A video created by ABC News about a Portal Screen connecting the United Nations General Assembly to the Harsham Camp for Refugees & IDPs in Erbil run by UNICEF Iraq.
On World Refugee Day, a golden shipping container was brought on to the grounds of the United Nations General Assembly hall in New York. Inside, cutting-edge audiovisual technology allowed delegates to converse via live video chat with children inside Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp, as though they were standing in the same room.
It might not be a magical armoire from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or Doctor Who’s time-traveling TARDIS, but “Portals” from artist collective Shared Studios certainly has its own story to tell.
Spearheaded by Yale Law School-educated artist and journalist Amar Bakshi and multimedia journalist Michelle Moghtader, the international exhibit takes gold spray-painted shipping containers and outfits them with immersive audio-visual technology to allow strangers to converse with one another from across the globe. The latest “Portal” was unveiled at the United Nations on World Refugees Day on June 20, 2016, as part of the U.N.’s free “Refugees” exhibit that runs until September 2016.
Ms Moghtader was at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday to unveil the newest Portal, currently located inside the UN. She's been speaking with Janie Cangelosi and began by explaining exactly what Portals are.
"Hello, how are you?" came the slightly distorted voice of a 17-year-old girl wearing a white headscarf and gray jeans. Her name is Zab, and she lives among more than 79,000 other displaced Syrians at Zaatari refugee camp in northern Jordan.
A formal opening ceremony for the exhibition entitled “Refugees” will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, 20 June, in the Visitors’ Lobby at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The exhibit is organized by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in collaboration with the UN SDG [Sustainable Development Goals] Action Campaign, and the Department of Public Information.
During the United Nations' 70th General Assembly last week, the U.N. attempted to bridge the gap between world leaders and Syrian refugees with a mix of virtual reality, documentary-style videos and good, old-fashioned conversation. It's an example of modern storytelling on one of the world's biggest stages that tech-minded marketers could learn from
Iman, Dania and Marwa are talking about their lives in Zaatari, the largest refugee camp in the Middle East and home to more than 82,000 Syrians. Iman wants to be a journalist, Dania is focused on improving her English, and Marwa misses her three children, who live with their father in Syria.
All three stress the need to bring better education, including a university, to the camp, which is located in western Jordan near the Syrian border. All three want to go home someday.
On their way to this month’s 70th United Nation’s General Assembly, the organization’s annual high-level meeting in New York, diplomats and world leaders will pass by a makeshift glass structure—both a glossy multi-media hub, and a gateway to an entirely different world.