Extreme right parties are very active across the world right now. Times are tough and when that happens people blame “others” – the people who “take jobs”, “use up social services” and “form gangs”. Before the Belgian elections in May, extreme right party, Vlaams Belang, plastered Belgium with posters whose slogan is the emotive, Our people first.
The party’s platform is anathema to NGO, Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, which defends refugees’ rights, so after the election, agency, mortierbrigade collected all of the posters, recycled them and turned them into new ones featuring portraits of refugees with the new slogan, Our people too.
The new posters were displayed in prominent positions including the facade of Belgium’s arts centre, Beursschouwburg, in the heart of Brussels.
Eef Heylighen, spokesperson for Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, stated, “Flanders is a community in which everyone should feel good. Yet, it tells a story of exclusion that leaves no place for multiculturality. At Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, we want a warm and inclusive community, in which there is also room for newcomers. For people who are looking for a place to feel safe, and to move together towards a more open and tolerant society. In this modern Flanders, we do not say ‘our people first’ but we say, ‘our people too’.”
On the website, people can listen to podcasts from the people shown in the posters. In these, the refugees narrate their stories through intolerant tweets. Each word used to tell the story refers to a tweet with an intolerant or racist character – a way to show how imprinted with hate these stories are and to turn a negative message into a message of hope.
Creative Directors: Jens Mortier, Joost Berends & Philippe De Ceuster
Creatives: Frédéric Zouag & Nicolas Gaspart
Digital Creative: Ramin Afshar
Producer: Tuyen Pham
PR Manager: Anne-Cécile Collignon
Social: Jonas Van Bael, Tom Baetens & Laura De Mey
Digital Director: Pieter Nijs
Digital Project Manager: Jeroen De Bock
UX Strategist: Wout Leemans
Design & Development: Milk&Cookies
DTP: Vito Latorrata
DOP: Jordan Vanschel & Pieter Neirynck
Editing, Grade & Online: Jelle Stroo
Music: Peter Baert
Sound Studio: Raygun
Photography: Jimmy Kets
Recycling and paper production: Superdruk
Client: Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen
Client contact: Eef Heylighen