|2018||Gabo Arora,John Fitzgerald,Matthew Niderhauser|
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“These rituals… I think they transform you, and they have a transformative effect that you can only understand through experience (…) I just thought, ‘Hey, VR — that’s what it’s for!’… Can it work for these types of religious experiences?”
Gabo Arora, Author, in Engadget.
Zikr: A Sufi Revival takes four participants on an interactive, virtual reality journey into a world of ecstatic ritual and music in order to explore the nature of faith alongside followers of this mystical Islamic tradition. By opening up an experience to Sufism, dancing and singing alongside members of the Tunisian group Association de la Renaissance du Maalouf et du Chant Soufi de Sidi Bou Saïd, it aims to shed light on a crucially misrepresented religion, revealing an Islamic practice of inclusion, acceptance, art, joy and understanding.
Understanding Sufism, by its very nature, is experiential. It is a commonly misunderstood branch of Islam that is often typecast as esoteric, mystical, and far outside of mainstream practices. But in many Muslim countries, Sufism is deeply bound to national heritage and other artistic outlets. Zikr enables four people at a time to experience Sufism much as practitioners do in Tunisia and, together, participate in ecstatic music rituals and encounter new spiritual possibilities.