In Pakistan, honour is considered more important than life itself. Where society is at the intersection of religion, culture, corrupt authorities and severely limited resources, women and girls of all socio-economic classes and levels of education are subject to its absurd notions of morality. Language of Silence VR allows users to enter a beauty salon in Lahore, Pakistan – a safe space for women, where men are prohibited, and the hijabs are off – to experience these stories of gender disparity. As their memories come to life, users can gain understanding of the events, motivations and influences behind their decisions, while the subtle contrasts between their spoken word and lived experiences bring to light the extent to which such cultural beliefs can damage the human spirit. From the bride who went through hymenoplasty to prove her ‘purity’, to the doctor who was forced to remain unemployed by her husband’s family, these women choose between their rights and their survival, often paying a price too high to bear.
The primary goal of this experience is creating awareness, empathy and a space for difficult conversations to take place and challenge these honour narratives, rampant in most of the developing world, by sparking debate.