08 January 2020

Both of the Save the Children videos

The format is the increasingly-popular "one second a day" (reviewed at TechCrunch), but the content shows the life of a theoretical British refugee child, not a vlogger.   There are two videos, produced by Save The Children, which were stitched together in the above embed.  Relevant commentary at NPR:
A young British girl unwraps a package from her mum — a stuffed animal. The child's face breaks into a smile. But after this moment, her life in a war-torn London is stark: She gets a serving of gruel, reads in the dark, tries to keep warm with a cigarette lighter — then narrowly escapes a bombing, nearly drowns and is separated from her mother, who sacrifices her spot on a tugboat so her daughter can flee.

... The ads, created by the global charity to raise awareness and funds for the Syrian refugee crisis, have gathered a ton of attention, both negative and positive, for using a British girl — not a Syrian girl — as the main character, and London — not Damascus or Aleppo or any other Syrian city — as the setting.

Jess Crombie, deputy creative director at Save the Children, argues that casting a white British child as the protagonist is key to bring the far-off issue closer to home and raise awareness in the hope people will respond with donations...

That doesn't mean everyone agrees with the idea of telling the Syrian refugee story with a British setting. Heidi Moore, a digital media consultant based in New York, tweeted that she found the ad "annoying. As if the refugee crisis doesn't matter unless the child is white and English-speaking."


  1. Interestingly, I had just remembered these videos a couple of weeks ago and I posted them on Facebook, not so much for their original purpose, but to underscore for people just how quickly life can go from normal to hellishly bad. I think it's an important reminder, especially for Americans, who think "it could never happen here."

  2. I suspect that part of the idea of this casting/setting is to evoke the blitz and recall that we called those events evil. Its never particularly nice to look in a mirror.


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