Their aim is to show refugees how to create their own online media content. There is a great interest by young refugees in producing media and understanding how the media system works. The programme teaches students to go “into the field” and make their own stories, videos or video blogs. Another focus is to show students how narrative persuasion works, in addition to other technical skills such as lighting, composition and framing of shots and how to work with audio. In addition to these practical skills, the program tries to develop the students’ analysis and critical thinking skills by showing them the techniques used in advertising and persuasive videos.
Showing the refugee students how to share their own personal interests and talents allows them to present themselves as normal fellow citizens – it empowers them to challenge the stereotypes usually promoted by mainstream media.
Koen Leurs is connected to Institutions for Open Societies - an interdisciplinary research area of Utrecht University focused on the development and expansion of healthy open societies everywhere.