The great wave of refugees from 2015/16 seems to be over for us. We are dealing with completely different topics. But the Mediterranean is still the deadliest frontier in the world. In 2018 alone, almost 2,300 people died in a desperate attempt to flee to Europe. The number of unreported cases will be significantly higher. The “LIFEBOAT – The Experiment” campaign wanted to make this an issue again – with an emotional live experience and documentation. And last but not least, ask the provocative question: Would we just stand by and watch if it were white Europeans?
Thousands of people are still taking the enormous risk of crossing the Mediterranean Sea in overcrowded rubber dinghies. Sadly, however, the topic has lost its newsworthiness – and nonprofits like Sea-Watch and their ongoing efforts to save lives are being forgotten. To draw attention to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and the importance of the Sea-Watch, Serviceplan staged a startling live experience for 40 volunteers.
The agency selected 40 volunteer Germans who were representative of German society in terms of age, gender and occupation. Without knowing what to expect, they boarded a rubber dinghy and experienced a three-hour simulated Mediterranean crossing. The conditions and the weather were based on the emotional and real experiences of five refugees. The aim was to give the participants an approximate idea of this situation, the fear and the stress. This emotional change of perspective should make it easier for the audience of the documentary to identify, arouse empathy and encourage rethinking.
The accompanying website www.lifeboatexperiment.org contains further information about the terrifying stories of the refugees and, last but not least, an appeal for donations for the Sea-Watch.
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