Counterpoints Arts
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Film and Multimedia

New Together
19th June 2018
new together

Alexander Day and Brian Carufe introduce “New Together”

“We’ve all been new once.” While the unknown can be exciting, it can also be terrifying. It can be overwhelming. And more than that, it can be isolating. Our lives are very clearly shaped by these fresh experiences. But why face them alone, when we can face them together?

“New Together” is a short Public Service Announcement (PSA) that highlights this idea of being new, and the power of a community to ease that experience. As filmmakers, we are always striving to engage the audience in new ways. When we looked at most of the other visual attempts to bring awareness to the refugee crisis, we noticed the approach was almost always to show distraught children amidst the ruins of their homes. While that is certainly half of the picture, it became clear that this imagery aims to evoke sympathy. The difficult assimilation process that comes afterward, however, was something that people are generally not exposed to. Once this angle became our narrative, we realised we could evoke something stronger than sympathy: empathy.

As the video states in the opening seconds, everyone – refugee or not – has been new once. If the first day of school or first day behind the wheel of a car is hard enough for everybody else, how much harder must those moments be for refugees? As creatures of habit, it is often easy for human beings to sense an outsider, but with compassion, patience, and understanding, nobody has to be an outsider. It is our hope that those who view the video will begin to consider this perspective when they engage in this important cultural conversation.

We are also very grateful to have had the input of the UNHCR during the production of “New Together.” Chris Boian in particular really helped us hone in on some of the unique challenges refugees face and helped provide ways we might communicate our message effectively. We are truly inspired by their work and are just happy to do our little part in raising awareness of the crises they grapple with every day. This week and all weeks, we are asking everyone to face the new together, and stand #WithRefugees.