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The Enemy

This installation and app invites you to step into the very heart of conflict situations and find out why people engage in violence.

Two combatants from opposing sides observe each other. We stand in the middle, confronted with their fears, dreams and motivations to fight. Created by war photographer Karim Ben Khelifa, The Enemy is an ongoing project that operates on the borders of neuroscience, artificial intelligence and non-fiction storytelling. By means of a virtual reality installation and an augmented reality app, The Enemy invites the audience to step out of its role of distant and passive bystander and into the very heart of conflicts in Afghanistan, Israel, Congo and El Salvador. What motivates human beings to engage in violence, at the risk of being killed or killing others? Why do people continue to fight in wars that have been going on for generations, and how do they envisage freedom or their own future? The Enemy challenges existing views and traditional depictions of war. It reveals how the dismissal of someone else’s humanity isn’t so much about the limits of empathy as it is about the limits of our imagination.

Selected for IDFA 2015 and eligible for the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction.

Presented as part of the DocLab: Seamless Reality program by IDFA and De Brakke Grond during DocLab Live: VR Cinema Showcase and as an interactive installation from 19-29 November.

Project details

Year of development :2015
Created by:Karim Ben Khelifa
With:Camera Lucida Productions, National Film Board of Canada, Emissive, Dpt & France Télévisions Nouvelles Ecritures

Available formats