A poignant new video experiment breaking down barriers between Europeans and recently-arrived refugees was recently launched by Amnesty International.
The five-minute video, Look Beyond Borders, is based on a theory developed by psychologist Arthur Aron in 1997, that four minutes of uninterrupted eye contact increases intimacy.
Amnesty International Poland and Polish ad agency DDB&Tribal applied the method to the refugee crisis, asking refugees from Syria and Somalia who have been in Europe for less than a year and people from the UK, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Poland to literally look into each other’s eyes.
The video, filmed in a warehouse near Berlin’s Cold War-era crossing Checkpoint Charlie last month, shows natural, spontaneous reactions between people meeting for the first time, with overwhelmingly positive results.
Hanna Waśko, from ad agency Big Picture which is helping with distribution of the video, said: “We conducted the experiment in Berlin because the city symbolises the overcoming of divisions. In that sense, the most important thing is to give people time to understand each other better and get to know one another.”
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