The Enemy by Karim Ben Khelifa, a groundbreaking interactive Virtual Reality (VR) exhibition and immersive experience, will make its North American premiere at the MIT Museum. Through 360-degree imaging and recordings, participants will encounter combatants on opposite sides of conflicts in Israel/Palestine, the Congo, and El Salvador. In their own words, each will offer personal perspectives on war, including thoughts on motivations, suffering, freedom, and the future.
The exhibition incorporates concepts from artificial intelligence and cognitive science-based interaction models. Conceived by acclaimed photojournalist Karim Ben Khelifa, this ambitious project was further developed during a visiting artist residency at MIT hosted by MIT’s Center for Art, Science & Technology (CAST) and in collaboration with MIT Professor D. Fox Harrell.
The Enemy is open daily October 5 through December 31 - except November 4, November 23 and 24, and December 24 and 25. It also will open three Friday evenings - October 20, November 17, December 15.
Timed entry to The Enemy will be limited (5 per quarter hour) and pre-registration is strongly suggested. Please take a look at the information you should know before your visit, posted below.
PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
The Museum has scheduled a robust schedule of programming to continue the conversation on topics raised by The Enemy. Please join us for one or for all:
Groups of up to 25 people can reserve entry times on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings with start times beginning as early as 10:30 a.m. and last entry at 11:30 a.m. Five participants can begin their experience every 15 minutes. Please note that The Enemy experience takes approximately one hour.
For group reservations, which must be made at least one week in advance, please email VisitTheEnemy@mit.edu with your Group leader’s name and phone number, day and start time, and number of people in your group. A Museum representative will contact you to confirm your reservation.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO KNOW BEFORE YOU VISIT:
Please allow 1½ hour to complete the experience.
Please arrive 10 minutes before your entry time to allow for check-in. Visitors arriving after their allotted entry time may forfeit the right to enter. Free-of-charge lockers and coat racks are available adjacent to the exhibition.
Cost: Daytime: $10 per person. Friday evenings: $20 per person. No discounts. Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. No refunds or exchanges. Does not include Museum admission.
Parent/Guardian/Adult Discretion Advised. Unlike many virtual reality experiences, The Enemy is not a game. Its subject matter deals with serious issues and contains honest, but sometimes disturbing content about actual geopolitical conflicts and combatants. It is not recommended for children under 14.
Specially trained Staff will assist and monitor participants throughout the experience. You will remain in a standing position and must be able to carry a backpack weighing 8 lbs for one hour. Please wear comfortable shoes.
You will be equipped with a virtual reality headset and headphones. The headset is equipped with a view adjuster, allowing modifications to its focus. Although wearing eyeglasses under the headset is possible, certain models or styles might prove uncomfortable. Contacts lenses, if an option, are recommended.
This is an immersive experience. For security and safety reasons, adults will not be allowed to carry children, strollers are prohibited, and children cannot be left unattended.
Technology used in The Enemy uses cellular waves that may interfere with the electrical signals in cardiac stimulators.
If you are pregnant, or if you suffer from known visual or neuropsychological disorders, we recommend that you visit your doctor for advice before using virtual reality headsets.
This version of The Enemy is not adapted for the hard of hearing or the visually impaired.
The Enemy is wheelchair accessible, but requires additional guidance. Please contact us at VisitTheEnemy@mit.edu to arrange your visit.
Available in English and French.
The Enemy is organized by the MIT Museum and Camera lucida.