Refugees Welcome: Image-making

In Donatella Della Ratta’s chapter “Syria’s image-makers: Daesh militants and non-violent activists” from her book “Shooting a Revolution” she outlines the various media tactics used by Daesh and their counterparts. Daesh uses both violent and peaceful media tactics. The violent images are shown to create a spectacle, make a statement to the west, but also attract and inspire individuals who familiarize with their message. On the other hand, the peaceful media tactics are used to attract more people to their cause, by showing them a positive side of the caliphate, which is the ideas of brotherhood, camaraderie, prosperity and hope for the future.

When analyzing Refugees Welcome, it is obvious that through their media tactics, they are trying to sponsor the same ideals of brotherhood, camaraderie and hope for the future. Although, Refugees Welcome is completely different, its media tactics revolve around the same idea: trying to attract more people to join their cause and making a statement. Refugees Welcome is an organization which relies on individuals to take the decision of hosting a refugee in their home, and it’s no surprise that the more people will join, the better their system will work. Therefore, it is important for them to use their media strategy to attract as many people as they can and show how amazing the experience can be. Their tactics revolve around trying to raise awareness and knowledge on how easy it can be to live in peace and how easy it can be to join the cause. Furthermore, their strategy involves depicting a reality in which people accept each other’s differences and praise them instead of focusing on them.

When analyzing their media strategy we can see the way in which Refugees Welcome focuses on pushing for acceptance and integration, by showing people how easy it can be to help. They do this by focusing their strategy on showing people how easy and effective their methods are. In order to do this, they show refugees with their families in the most normal situations, such as playing card games with their families. Furthermore, their strategy can be seen in the video found on their web page, that depicts refugees and their families having dinner together, playing the piano,cooking and sharing their recipes to show the effectiveness of their strategy in creating a sense of family and brotherhood between the individual and their family.

This strategy is extremely effective because it contrasts the common preconception of refugees and immigrants as desperate people, and places them in everyday situations that help them regain their humanity in the public’s eye. However, it also shows people who follow them how it’s not only a matter of helping, but also a matter of being able to learn from one another. Their media strategy enables the public to see how easy it can be to make a change.

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Photo taken by: Refugees Welcome Instagram page

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