On the 19th of June 2018, my form and I were able to experience a refugee simulator installation. The simulation lasted fifteen minutes and we listened to the real-life accounts of three individual refugees and their journey to the UK.
As we entered the drama studio, we were each given a headset and were told to go into the entrance area to hear a brief story before we had to move on. Immediately as we went through the entrance, we were in a darkened room and started to listen to a story about one of the refugees. We knew when we had to move on within the simulation, as there were guards who kept shouting at us menacingly and telling us to ‘Move to the next station!’
During the simulation we were told to go through many different exits, by the guards, and I really felt like I was a refugee being pushed around and being treated unfairly. A station that I enjoyed was when I was in the truck. This really made me think and feel like I was travelling in a truck to another country. I felt this way because the sounds from the headset made me feel like we were on a road in the middle of a motorway. The station which had the most impact on me and made me really feel for the refugees was the second to last station. This is because the refugees had settled in a house, but other locals in the community attacked the refugee’s house by throwing bricks through the window. In the simulation we could hear people shouting and the sound breaking of glass, which was very upsetting to hear.
At the end of the simulation, a refugee tells us how they have settled in and have made England their home. They also tell us how much their life has changed and how much better it is now.
Overall I think the simulation was quite realistic and educational as it teaches students about the hardship a lot of refugees have to go through and what they have to experience on their journey. This simulation showed us the processes and stages the refugees have to go through in order to have to reach a safer and more reliable country and not all survive. I also liked how in each room the designers had decorated the walls to make us feel like we are in the place the refugee was talking about (e.g. airport, truck, and detention centre). Another feature that I liked in this simulator was that there was information on the walls, telling us facts about the refugee crisis and how long each stage may take in real life. I found this good, because while the refugee were telling us their story, we could listen to them but also read the facts as well. I would rate this simulator five out of five stars and I felt it was a thought provoking educational experience.
By Yusuf in Year 8