Refugee.tv is an act of empowerment. This is how it is defined on its official website, a television project that, for the time being, only has an on-line channel (producted in Austria), which aims to become the first television channel in Europe giving a voice to refugees, with a distinctive element: the journalists working for the channel are all refugees.
Created by an Austrian moviemaker, the online platform is coordinated by asylum-seekers from six different nationalities that have arrived in Europe and who have audiovisual, journalism and technical skills. In this regard, this TV channel provides them with the opportunity to continue with their professional career.
David Gross is the Austrian director who has promoted this initiative. He did this because he felt the need to end the immobilism of the European institutions and to find a way to collaborate with the events that have, more and more, impacted the continent in recent times. News explained from exile, unique stories of each of the people who have been forced to leave their homes… There are also different German and Austrian camera crews collaborating with the project.
In fact, the first programme they recorded was in October last year at a refugee camp in Germany. Since then, they have produced three more programmes, always with the help of a crowdfunding campaign that helps the project to be sustainable.
The people behind
Olivia Christopher, after her father died, no longer felt safe in her country. She has been living in Vienna for 15 months. “I want to become a journalist, I joined Refugee.tv to give a voice to refugees. We want to show a different perspective that will change people’s perceptions”.
Like her, Roula Mahmoud left Syria and is now the moderator of Refugee.tv. Ayad Salim, 45 years old and born in Iraq is also a journalist and presenter. He has published critical reports on the abuses and crimes of the Islamic State, and fled from the Shiite militias in Baghdad and has been living in Salzburg for a year. “With Refugee.tv we can show Austria what it means to escape from war and death”, he explains full of hope.
Also living in Salzburg, but for three years, is Mohamed, persecuted by a al-Shabaab militia for his investigative reporting. The cameramen are Newton Osarouname Idemudia, from Nigeria and 29 years old, and Fathi Ghanim, who hopes “Refugee.tv will become a multicultural Europan television”. “We all can learn and become richer from one another”, he adds.
And finally, the channel also has a translation team, and one of the translators is Hayat Moosa, a Syrian translator who collaborates in a project with people who are in charge of the design, music, website, production, animation, etc. You can follow the programmes on their Youtube channel.