The Best Work You May Never See: TBWA\NEBOKO Helps Us See "Through The Eyes of a Refugee"


Robert Goldrich
Monday, Jan. 29, 2018


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In a bid to shed light on the dangerous journeys refugees are forced to make on a daily basis, Amnesty International has launched this short film, “Through the eyes of a refugee,” from ad agency TBWA\NEBOKO, Amsterdam.
The film documents a project in which five people from the Netherlands and Belgium were brought into a state of hypnosis, so they could gain deeper insight into the journey of a Syrian refugee. 

Under the guidance of a professional hypnotherapist, the participants experienced the journey of 29-year-old Marwa, from Syria, as she made her way to safety to the Netherlands. 

“For most people, the hardship inflicted on refugees on their way to safety is hard to imagine. When people really experience what it is like to be forced to flee, this can create understanding and could fundamentally change the way we speak about refugees,” said Eduard Nazarski, executive director of Amnesty International Netherlands

In April 2015, a missile struck Marwa’s house, killing her brother and sister. Marwa’s village was bombed for months on end and, after another brother fled, Marwa embarked on a hellish journey, with the hope of finding safety in Europe. 
For Marwa, it was important to share her story: “The war is not over and it is only getting worse. If people hear my story it may touch them, so they may be able to help refugees. You have to treat refugees as equal human beings.”

Hetty, one of the participants, described the experience as life-changing: “I’m glad I did this, because now I have a better understanding of what these people go through. When you see this on television, it doesn’t affect you as much.”

TBWA\NEBOKO CCO Darre van Dijk said, “For those who have never experienced the pain and horror of fleeing a dangerous, war torn country, it is difficult to identify with the refugees who have had to endure these awful circumstances. By taking this different approach in the way we tell refugees’ stories, we are able to feel the tension and pain on a deeper level, ultimately increasing awareness and a better understanding of their situation.”

Victor Vroegindewij directed “Through the eyes of a refugee” via Hazazah Film & Photography.


Client Amnesty International Agency TBWA\NEBOKO, Amsterdam Darre van Dijk, chief creative officer/art director; Bas Engels, creative director/copywriter; Peter Burger, producer. Production Hazazah Film & Photography Victor Vroegindewij, director; Lex Szanto, producer; Gabor Deak, DP; Tessel Schole, production manager. Editorial MRTN Martin Heijgelaar, Jorien Voogt, editors; Barry Clarke, colorist; Gregoire Verwijen, online. Sound Rens Pluim. Sound Design Darius Dante Talent Robert-Jan Glas, interviewer; Jos Claus, hypnotherapist.

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