‘Sessions of Imagination’

Proposal for an educational initiative for change, which aims to promote empathic behaviours, through the buildout and implementation of a methodology of imagination for development and the use of immersive technological experiences.

There is enough evidence that demonstrates that individuals who are forced to migrate suffer cognitive dissociative disorders that makes them being hypervigilant, absent and that takes them to develop a learned-helplessness mindset.

Those, whose lives have been marked by these experiences, often describe their lives in terms of lacks gaps and suffering. (Pistrick, 2015) (Sartre, 1956) (Innocenti, 2016).

Dissociative identity disorders are associated with overwhelming experiences, traumatic events and/or abuse.  During a traumatic experience such as an accident, disaster or crime-victimization, dissociation can help a person tolerate what might otherwise be too difficult to bear. Dissociation is a disconnection between a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions or sense of who he or she is.

Cognitive dissociative disorders make the brain block certain functions, making individuals not aware of their reality. Neuroscience, explains it as brief brain seizures events, that create disruptions or breakdowns of memory, awareness, identity, or perception. For people who have endured traumatic events, these disorders may occur frequently, impacting their attention, learning, and memory. (Carney and Jackson, 2014) (Staniloiu, 2012).

[…] At present, many refugees do not have access to quality education that provides physical protection and personal capacity development. This is particularly true for marginalised groups, including children and young people with physical and cognitive disabilities […] (UNHCR, 2012)

Frontier Technologies of Communication

We are entering into a virtual reality usage era, where people will be able to experience others viewpoints, emerge in different contexts, real or unreal, and place themselves in different situations, so as to in that way, be able to understand different states of mind. So how can we use this technological developments to improve the learning processes?

The goal of this project is to provide children living in these contexts, access to a service that could unlock their creativity and include them in a network of support that provides them access to knowledge and opportunities for development.

What is the relevance of using a VR Network as a channel of communication? The relevance of using VR lies in the impact that this technology has to promote empathic behaviours and send messages that can lead to actions.

Imagination for Development 

This project is an initiatives to deal with cognitive dissociative disorders in children at the growing refugee context, using the fundamentals of brains based learning (neurodidactics) and the principles of synaesthesia and brain waves, to send impulses and trigger brain activity in children with PTSD.
The project responds to the question: How can we provoke conversations with kids from displaced communities, and bring them back from a state of mental absence?
The VR experiences are used as a tool to facilitate or initiate a workshop that aims to question the user context, and invite them to re-imagine their world and express their dreams or desires.
The aim is to make possible, the unlocking of people’s thoughts about the future, by offering them the sufficient stimulus to awake there brain activity, and capture their attention and start conversations, through the use of Virtual reality experiences.

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This project is the result of an on-going active-research with children, in refugee camps and psychosocial centres in Greece and Lebanon.

So far, the project has been tested and iterated with more than 120 kids, obtaining insightful information to develop an educational initiative for change.


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