Tourism ads show their destinations in the best possible light. We Are Social’s tourism ad for Burundi does too. #ILoveBurundi shows exactly what the Burundi Government would want people to hear.
But the Twitter account and its tourism company are fakes. They’re part of We Are Social’s campaign for The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) to alert people to the violence, intimidation and human rights abuses being perpetrated in Burundi by the country’s authorities.
When first posted, the Twitter account was accompanied by a film, a classic tourism film, describing the wonderful unique features of the country in words and pictures.
Four days after this first post, a longer version of the film was uploaded. It begins like the first, but changes midway. It tells you that the words you have been listening to are those of Burundian refugees. Since 2015, over 400,000 Burundians have left the country they loved to escape arrest, torture and execution. The #ILoveBurundi becomes the #ILeaveBurundi film.
⚠ On peut aimer son pays et être contraint de le quitter… Le décor idyllique du #Burundi cache une violence politique responsable de la mort de 1700 personnes et de l’exil de 400 000 civils ! #ILeaveBurundi pic.twitter.com/qZ1uBshRkW
— Destination Burundi (@DestinationBur1) May 15, 2018
The current cycle of violence in Burundi began in April 2015 when the first popular demonstration against President Nkurunziza’s announcement to run for a third term was repressed. This was followed by a campaign by the authorities to systematically eliminate all opposition. More than 1,700 people may have been killed. As well as the 400,000 refugees that have fled to neighbouring countries, there have been up to 486 victims of enforced disappearance, hundreds of people tortured and over 8,000 people detained arbitrarily.
Agency: We Are Social France
Founder & chief executive officer: Sandrine Plasseraud
Executive Creative Director: Thomas Guilhot
Group Account Director: Vincent Reynaud-Lacroze
Account Manager: Pierre Chaudoy
Strategic Planner: Fabien Gaetan
Art Director: Paul Grange
Copywriters: Alexandre Foucray & Philippe Lesesvre
TV Producer: Cécile Ousset
Production: We Are Social Studios
Post-production: Firm Studio
Director: Kentin Denoyelle
Sound production: THE
Digital Communication Officer: Anne Vesque
PR & Communication Assistant: Yvon Chagué
Press Manager: Samuel Hanryon