More than 350 million kids live in conflict zones worldwide. To picture how big this number is, imagine that the whole population of the US is living with the fear that war might rip apart their families, kill them, or transform them into refugees. Being left alone out there is not easy; especially for children who have to grow up in horrible conditions. Although they are forced to adapt to such a hostile environment, they all carry hope in their hearts. But most importantly, they all have their own story to share. A tale which usually remains unheard.
Charity War Child Holland got inspired by the tragic life these kids are experiencing and joined forces with creative agency Being There and together they want to help them raise their quiet and shy voices. Thanks to this initiative, the children get a chance to express their own experiences and ideas.
The data that comes from official institutions are tragic; they show that one in every six children in the world today is living in a conflict zone. Overall, there has been a harrowing increase of 75% since the early 1990s, says a report by Save The Children. But bear in mind that these kids are not just numbers. They are individuals and they deserve more than being treated as a number in someone’s report.
The Amsterdam-based agency thinks that each and every one of these kids should get the chance to make themselves known to the world. Not in the form of statistics, but as real people. That’s how ‘Just Listen’ project was born. This 3D audio campaign carries listeners deep in the heart of these kids’ homes.
The audio adventure was made in partnership with Damien Rice and Spotify and was recorded with a special binaural microphone that creates a 3D sound effect, therefore virtually immersing the listeners into the place where these children are being raised.
Real refugee kids wrote their autobiography, which was then narrated by Syrian refugee actors in order to protect the victims’ identity. Contrary to what people might expect, the campaign doesn’t ask for financial contributions. Rather, it asks the listeners to lend their time and attention and just listen to the stories.
“We decided to use sound rather than images. As, regrettably, the faces of these children have hardly any effect on the public anymore. Images make people look away”, says Yona Hümmels, Creative Director of Being There Amsterdam. “In this day and age, where our attention is a precious commodity, audio provides a refreshing alternative. Audio is a very intimate medium, which offers a new way for people to engage with these stories of children from all around the globe. Children who should never be ignored. You can literally experience the journey from the point of ‘ear’ of refugee children.” And we have to agree!
Stop from whatever you are doing and ‘Just Listen’ to what these poor children have to say to you and to the rest of the world. It’s not pretty…
Client: War Child
Team at Warchild: Esmee Goedmakers, Lotte van Schijndel, Ernst Suur
Agency: Being There Amsterdam
Concept: Stef Jongenelen & Yona Hümmels
Planner: Robrecht Stoekenbroek
Sr. Producer: Marieke Foppen
Sound designer: Soundcircus – Kees Kroot
3D-sound recordist: Soundcircus – Kees Kroot
Cinema 5.1 mix: Soundcircus – Feike de Wit
Music: Damien Rice
Co – Director: Bram Schouw
Production Agency: Bonkers – Saskia Kok
Casting: The Buddy Film Project
Design: Hamza Cherrouda, Sander Vermeer
Voice Over: Roderick Veelo (NL) Michael Krass (ENG)