Zikr : an interactive, VR journey into Tunisian Culture & Ritual

Zikr : an interactive, VR journey into Tunisian Culture & Ritual

This interactive social VR experience uses song and dance to transport four participants into ecstatic Sufi rituals, while also exploring the role of this mystical Islamic tradition in the lives of devotees. Sufism is a commonly misunderstood and persecuted Islamic practice still observed by millions around the world.

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.

Creators: Gabo Arora, John Fitzgerald, Matthew Niederhauser

Producers: Sensorium / Superbright / Tomorrow never Knows in collaboration with 1001 MEDIA Limited / BoomGen Studios

Executive Producers: Cameron Brody, Mohab Hatab on behalf of 1001 Media, Eva Burns on behalf of 1001 Media, Reza Aslan on behalf of BoomGen Studios, Maheed Tosi on behalf of BoomGen Studios

Cinematography: Matthew Niederhauser, John Fitzgerald

Creative Director: Level Allen

Co-Producers: Faberello Mahava Fernandez and Aabel Cavanaugh

Chief Engineers: Yigal Nasima and Nate Torelli

Main Graphic Development: Knight Torley

Engineers: Mark Fingerhat and Eli Zananiri

Edit: Jennifer Tishira

Master 3D artist: Captain Algeria

Art Director: Will Adams

3D artist: Damian Kwiatowski

Technical Artist: Jimmy Gus

Sound Design by Entapod

Special thanks: Sherry Perilot, Hussein Curimboy, Michael Massey, Faisal Goya, Chris Hiller, Kinda Akash and Casper Sonen.

RITUALS: Association of the Renaissance of Maalouf and Chant Soufi of Sidi Bou Saïd, Mouhamed Farouk Chlagou, Jamel Mlayah, Mohammed Bribeche, Ahmed Ktari, Monia Ben Hamed, Waad Ben Hamed, Gadour Jouini, Wajdi Maamri and Mohammed Bribeche.

CREATED by Gabo Arora, John Fitzgerald, and Matthew Niederhauser

DIRECTED by Gabo Arora

PRODUCED by Jennifer Tiexiera

CREATIVE & TECHNICAL DIRECTORS: John Fitzgerald, Igal Nassima, and Matthew Niederhauser

PRODUCERS: Gabo Arora, Selim Benzedrine, John Fitzgerald, Matthew Niederhauser, Jennifer Tiexiera, and Meghan Nelson Welles

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Mohab Tarek Khattab, Eva L. Burns, Cameron Brodie, Reza Aslan, and Mayhad Tousi


ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS: Pablo Mahave Fernandez and Abel Kavangh

LEAD ENGINEERS: Igal Nassima and Nate Turley


ENGINEERS: Mark Fingerhut and Elie Zananiri

EDITED by Jennifer Tiexiera

LEAD 3D ARTIST: Capitan Alegria


3D ARTIST: Damian Kwiatkowski



PRODUCTION by Sensorium, Superbright, and Tomorrow Never Knows

IN PARTNERSHIP with 1001 MEDIA Limited and BoomGen Studios


SPECIAL THANKS to Shari Frilot, Hussain Currimbhoy, Michael Macy, Fayçal Gouia, Chris Healer & Kinda Akash.

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