The global refugee crisis has a big impact on our lives today. Knowing the best approach in the communication about these matters is crucial. Choosing our approach to communication changes the way our audience understands us, so that makes this choice especially important.
Every day we can see in the media the word “STOP”. It is completely ok when we say stop racism, stop xenophobia, stop islamophobia, stop terrorism and so on. But saying stop in some cases is not the best way. Saying stop means just stop without any explanation and people who have some opinions about new cultures, migrants etc., will not change their minds. It is even more possible that they will become violent in some way, verbally or physically, because they might have a sudden reaction to our strong STOP.
Learning about each other
In our nature, it is normal to be scared of something new and different. If we go back a few years, we were careful or scared of using mobile phones but now we cannot imagine our lives without it. Maybe not a good example, but the reason why we accepted it and cannot live without it is we saw tones of good things shown to us by companies. Our communication became easier, life in total is easier. We in Outside Multicultural Magazine want to try to change the negative narrative and instead of using just “STOP”, use a subtle approach. We are trying to tell people to learn about new nationalities and religions. Show everyone new delicious food which we did not have a chance to try, new landscapes we did not have a chance to see. Maybe learn a new language or just how to say “I love you”. Make priceless new friendships. Tones and tones of good things we can learn from each other. Also, we cannot forget that most of the countries in the whole world went through some tough times in the past. Most countries had a period in past when citizens had to go somewhere and leave the country because of one reason or another. This makes us more similar than we think. In Outside Multicultural Magazine, we are trying to allow everyone to see who is living in their countries and the good side of every nationality.
Changing the negative narrative about migrants
We all should know that we live on the planet Earth, “Together”, all the time and our different cultures, look, skin, clothes, religion is our treasure. If you talk to someone from another continent you will recognise the same problems, same needs, same wishes as you have. If we meet a migrant or someone different in our city, let’s think what reason they had to come miles and miles to another country. We should be aware that negative narrative, ignoring new cultures or religions, not giving a chance for inclusion can in the end lead to violence. We should know who we are, hold on to that and respect that, then start learning about new religions, cultures in our communities. Also, give a chance to others to show their story and give a chance to show that they are friendly and as good as we are all. Most importantly, do not generalise, there is a bit of good and bad in all of us.
Vedran Ivandic is a videographer, drummer, photographer and Outside Magazine co-founder, living in the West of Ireland. His videos depict Irish landscape, while many of them shed light on important social issues and crisis, such as video he produced raising awareness on suicide rates that are rising.