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Shock and hope - Amnesty International's new viral film

Shock and hope - Amnesty International's new viral film
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Shock and hope - Amnesty International's new viral film2

Fundraising | Celina Ribeiro | 30 Jun 2009

Last year Amnesty International released a shocking range of short films, advertisements aired in cinemas and online, about the range of torture techniques used by American and allied authorities against terror suspects.

The unsubscribe-me.org campaign ('Stuff of Life' film below) fit with the times; Bush was in power, waterboarding wasn’t classed as torture and they needed to convince the public that the techniques constituted cruel and illegal punishment.

 

Now, with the Obama administration admiting waterboarding is torture, Amnesty International have released a new viral email film, Defy Them. Rather than claim victory, or suggest they were responsible for the change in American politics, the organisation has built on its campaigning, keeping it gritty but turning it positive. I won’t be a spoiler, but have a look to see how the campaigners have moved their supporters on with both the organisation and with history.


I’m often sceptical about the power of viral emails. They sadly often lack the vigour of real-life viruses. What I think Amnesty has done right here is create something that suits both the medium and the mindset of its supporters. Few people, even human rights campaigners, will be inclined to send videos of torture to all their friends and colleagues. Most, I would think, would be inspired enough to pass on this surprising – though tough – email which asks their friends to join them in stopping torture.

And if joining them involves signing up for a direct debit donation, then so be it. 

Encanny
25 Jul 2009

uhm. i dont think so...

Jenni Ledru
1 Jul 2009

These are great films. I actually signed up to donate after that last one.

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Celina Ribeiro

Celina Ribeiro is the editor of Fundraising magazine and daily contributor to CivilSociety.co.uk.

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