Production company, Fantefilm, and media partner, BeOn/AOL, reopen the cases of rejected asylum seekers for Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers.
Australia, pay attention. We have an asylum seeker problem too. The news media is running the show in Australia. In Norway, also. And according to the Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS), the dominant media message there is negative.
You can write vitriolic blogs, stage protests, hound current affairs show producers, write letters to politicians…or use creative ingenuity to debate the problem.
The Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS) used creative ingenuity…
…the creative ingenuity of production company, Fantefilm, and media partner, BeOn/AOL.
And that ingenuity resulted in a way for NOAS to give asylum seekers the opportunity to state their case and the public to voice their views…
…a way with which people will want to engage – a talent show called So You Think You Can Stay.
This is its blurb: “Amir Najjer from Gaza was tortured by masked men and accused of collaborating with Israeli forces. In Norway, his application for asylum has been refused. Authorities believe he can go back to the Gaza Strip, although the UN states that it´s unsafe to return. Now, Amir has signed up for the brand new talent show, So You Think You Can Stay, by Norwegian Organization for Asylum Seekers (NOAS), and hopes that your vote can help him stay in in Norway.”
Mari Seilskjær, advisor in NOAS, commented, “We want to show the stories of some of those who fled to Norway in our talent show. We will present people like Amir, who based on our experience, should be granted residence permit in Norway, but nevertheless has had his asylum application refused.
“Most asylum seekers in this category have good reasons to flee their home country and seek protection in Norway. The Norwegian asylum policy is strict and many are rejected contrary to UN recommendations.”
The contestants (and, of course, the judges) in the campaign are fictitious people, but their stories are based on real asylum cases taken on by NOAS. On the So You Think You Can Stay website, the public gets to review both the cases of these asylum seeking ‘contestants’ and why the judges vote no – in fact, the real reasons they were rejected for asylum. Then, everyday people get to vote, hopefully with a freash attitude to the plights of these people.
Producer: Audun Lyngholm Wittenberg
Director: Johanne Helgeland
Photographer: Marianne Bakke
Production Design: Julie Asskildt
Post production: Hocus Focus
Media partner: BeOn/AOL
- NOAS provides legal aid to asylum seekers and see many examples of people who, in their opinion, should get protection but nevertheless gets rejected.
- NOAS goes through over 1,300 asylum cases a year, and takes on about 250 of them. Several cases regard families.
- NOAS has an impact on nearly half the cases it works with involved, resulting in residency permits for more than 200 people per year.