This Platform Takes Over Your Phone To Demonstrate What It’s Like To Be A Refugee

This Platform Takes Over Your Phone To Demonstrate What It’s Like To Be A Refugee
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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees created an app to transform a person's phone into that of a 16 year old girl refugee

Jiwon Kim
  • 1 may 2017

The current refugee crisis is undoubtedly messy and overwhelming for anyone to process. However, with over 21 million refugees in the world, the crisis demands our attention and action. To help put a face to the problem, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) created an app with ad firm Grey Malaysia that transforms a user’s phone to one of a 16-year-old refugee girl’s. The app is called ‘Finding Home’ and it follows Kathijah, a fictional 16-year-old who flees from Myanmar to escape persecution.

A user’s phone simulates Kathijah’s smartphone, allowing you to look through her photos and videos while receiving texts and phone calls. The phone is turned into a real storytelling device. The conversations seen on the screen often revolve around which areas are dangerous or safe to take refuge. Instead of the typical texts you receive from friends on a Saturday night, you see how a refugee utilizes a smartphone to survive the day. There are depressing and frightening moments like a video call from Kathijah’s brother, running frantically during a jungle raid but also hopeful moments like when Kathijah makes friends during her journey.

There are around 150,000 refugees in Malaysia and 35,144 are children below the age of 18. The kind of experiences that are told through Finding Home are similar to those of these young refugees. Although an app cannot solve the refugee crisis, it can help outsiders understand the situation better and urge them to take action. Sometimes technology can ruin human connection but in this case, it has the ability to create understanding and empathy.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | Grey Malaysia

The current refugee crisis is undoubtedly messy and overwhelming for anyone to process. However, with over 21 million refugees in the world, the crisis demands our attention and action. To help put a face to the problem, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) created an app with ad firm Grey Malaysia that transforms a user’s phone to one of a 16-year-old refugee girl’s. The app is called ‘Finding Home’ and it follows Kathijah, a fictional 16-year-old who flees from Myanmar to escape persecution.

A user’s phone simulates Kathijah’s smartphone, allowing you to look through her photos and videos while receiving texts and phone calls. The phone is turned into a real storytelling device. The conversations seen on the screen often revolve around which areas are dangerous or safe to take refuge. Instead of the typical texts you receive from friends on a Saturday night, you see how a refugee utilizes a smartphone to survive the day. There are depressing and frightening moments like a video call from Kathijah’s brother, running frantically during a jungle raid but also hopeful moments like when Kathijah makes friends during her journey.

+advertising
+app
+arts
+Arts & Culture
+Culture
+mobile
+refugee
+smartphone
+technology
+United Nations

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