Amnesty video to counter anti-refugee sentiment

A video filmed by Amnesty International Poland in the EU’s refugee capital Germany, brings refugees and Europeans together.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Amnesty International Poland video project on refugees.

A newly released video by Amnesty International Poland aims to counter anti-refugee sentiment in Europe.

The video, shot in Germany, shows Europeans and refugees, mostly from Syria, sitting across each other and looking into each others' eyes for four minutes.

The intimacy of the moment makes some of the strangers emotional, as they start weeping or laughing. 

Eventually, they begin talking to each other.

In a statement, Amnesty said, "When talking about the problem of refugees, we use dehumanised language, which reduces human tragedy to numbers and statistics.

"Only when you sit down opposite a specific person and look into their eyes, you no longer see an anonymous refugee, one of the migrants, and notice the human before you, just like yourself - loving, suffering, dreaming."

Amnesty says it based the idea on the experiments of American psychologist Arthur Aron.

Studies by Aron in the late 20th century focused on building close relationships between strangers using small windows of intimacy.

Europe is dealing with the biggest influx of refugees since World War II.

The United Nations says the continuing conflicts in Middle Eastern countries such as Syria and Iraq is a major factor behind the rise in numbers.

Refugees are risking their lives in perilous journeys to flee war, oppression or poverty in the hope of finding a better life in Europe.

Germany allowed more than a million refugees to enter the country last year.

TRTWorld, Reuters