360 Syria

Amnesty International UK


At the beginning of last year there was very little media coverage showing what life was like for families living in Syria’s war zones, it was too dangerous for journalists to go there. This presented Amnesty International UK (AIUK) with a huge challenge; How to garner empathy and support from the public for people living in Syria? AIUK decided to transport people from UK high streets to the war-torn streets of Aleppo using virtual reality (VR).

AIUK trained citizen-journalists inside Syria to document the apocalyptic scenes they lived in using innovative, spherical images. AIUK street fundraisers and local groups then took these images to UK high streets using VR headsets. This gave the public a deeply immersive experience, placing them in the eyes of a Syrian person under siege, an undeniably moving experience.

AIUK also aimed to reverse the negative image of street fundraising by giving something back to the public; their first, unforgettable, VR experience. This marked a global first for street fundraising and a 9% increase in people signing up to direct debits. AIUK’s VR project also empowers Syrian activists and supports Amnesty’s vital research, lobbying, awareness-raising and education work. 

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