Press Release – Together We Make A Nation
Former Refugee Women Shine in New Interactive Documentary
Intolerance towards refugees and attacks on women’s rights are in the news right now internationally. So it’s timely that a new interactive documentary focusing on former refugee women living in New Zealand launches today after a year of filming and development.
Together We Make A Nation follows four women of refugee backgrounds living in New Zealand: Ola from Poland, Neary from Cambodia, Yibeth from Colombia and Dalal from Syria. Their stories tell us about life in their former countries, why they had to leave and what life is like now in New Zealand, where they have come to be safe at last.
New Zealand Red Cross is a major partner for the project. Hanna Butler, Red Cross Communications Manager, says, “With the global refugee crisis making headlines there has been a lot of interest in stories of people who came to New Zealand through the refugee program. Together We Make a Nation captures four of these incredible stories, provides detailed information on the refugee crisis around the world and introduces us to the amazing people who work in the resettlement sector in Aotearoa. This website is an incredibly valuable resource, nothing else like this exists in NZ. I encourage everyone to visit it.”
The project is a collaboration between Sandra Clark of Rabid Technologies and Steve La Hood of Story Inc. Sandra says, “Our message is that former refugee women are so resilient and strong. They are brave and resourceful and have so much to offer our communities. A direct contrast to the inaccuracies being portrayed in the international media”
The stories for Together We Make A Nation are available on a website so they can be accessed for free by anyone, anywhere, at any time. In addition to the stories, there are four community pages that former refugees and support organisations can contribute to. There is integration between these pages and Facebook so they can always be updated with fresh information. Sandra says, “There is an amazing network of organisations that support refugees coming to New Zealand. So, as well as the documentaries, we wanted to create a central hub for resources and an online community where all these organisations could come together and share their news and information in one place.”
The interactive delivery of the documentary allows the viewer to watch a short story while being presented with other multimedia options they may want to interact with in order to create an individual journey of discovery. During the story there is other information to watch, read and share; the viewer is in control of their own experience. “This isn’t like a traditional documentary that is just viewed once,” Steve says, “we think you’ll want to return to these stories over and over again.”
Together We Make A Nation was funded by NZ On Air as part of the Digital Media Interactive Documentary Fund. The Interactive Fund supports new content that pushes the envelope of creative storytelling. The aim of the fund is to provide interested audiences with something different or meaningful using the opportunities digital media brings.
Together We Make A Nation can be viewed at www.togetherwmn.nz and their Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/togetherwmn/
The website can be viewed on a tablet or mobile device but for the best interactive experience a desktop or laptop is recommended.