HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS
The Central African Republic (CAR) is one of the worst countries in the world to be a child. Sitting at the bottom of the United Nations Human Development Index, the children in the former French colony grow up within an infrastructure crippled by decades of misrule and corruption. The country is beset by poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, a shortage of qualified teachers, and poor access to water, sanitation and health services. The ongoing armed conflict has exacerbated this situation as continued insecurity has hamstrung humanitarian efforts. But as tragic as the situation is in the country, CAR has effectively become a house without windows. Media coverage of this crisis has been minimal, and the public’s interest fleeting.
‘House Without Windows’ is a groundbreaking interactive and fully responsive photo/graphic novel that follows Central African artist Didier Kassai, and freelance British photojournalist Marc Ellison, as they documented and corroborated the challenges facing youth in the country’s streets, classrooms, refugee camps, and hospitals in 2017. These intimate case studies shine a light back on the human rights abuses these children have endured. As the first ever comic to harness the immersive power of 360 video, the audience is also given a virtual window through which it can finally observe the problems facing this nation’s most vulnerable demographic: its children. The audience can - via embedded vignettes or a standalone 14-minute feature - stand beside child labourers working in a diamond mine, cycle around a refugee camp with an aid worker, or meet kids forced to live on the streets of Bangui.
Here are a selection of photographs from the project.