Blooming in a Ring of Fire is a series of five Virtual Reality experiences inspired by stories of female refuges and focused on the theme of hope and personal growth.
Abner Preis and Zoe D’Amaro developed an immersive storytelling experience, which gives voice to women of various age and origin, who became refugees at different stages of their lives. The participants were encouraged to share their experience through diverse storytelling tools and creative means. Their tales describe their difficulties and struggle, but also their dreams and personal achievements. Even if their lives were disrupted by war, migration and poverty, the narratives do not linger on the suffering. On the contrary, they highlight their courage, resilience and talent.
Shaed (15, Syria), Bayan (16, Jordan), Hadeel (18 Palestine/Jordan), Kristina (28, Ukraine) and Lidija (53, Bosnia) invite the audience to wander through spectacular narrative labyrinths, in which virtual illustrations and figurative associations are combined with voice-over text written in collaboration with the participants, original film footage, as well as archive photographs and videos.
The project is exhibited by the Amsterdam Museum at The Hermitage Amsterdam from 2023 to 2025.

VR experience created by Abner Preis & Zoe D’Amaro
Produced by Abner Preis Studios in Co-production with Godmother Films
With Lidija Zelovic, Kristina Karnovskaya, Hadeel, Shaed & Bayan
Creative Programmer; Frank Bosma
Cinematography: Zoe D’Amaro & Melanja Palitta
Music: Guillermo Celano
Illustrations: Abner Preis
Additional Animations: Yvo Sprey
Voice-over talents: Tieke Masfar, Anne-lief Meiske van Mastrigt, River Heuer

This project is made possible by the Mondriaan Fonds, as well as Plan International and the National Postcode Lottery.