Tags: children/youth, inequality, violence, war/military, empathy, sociological imagination, 00 to 05 mins
Summary: This powerful PSA uses the second-a-day video format to promote empathy for people in war-torn regions. Created by Save the Children UK, the video targets UK viewers who might feel removed from the traumas of war and conflict. It begins by showing a young (white) girl blowing out the birthday candles on her birthday cake, then moves through a variety of 1-second clips of the same girl in everyday situations. While the first shots are mundane and (presumably) familiar examples, the clips increasingly reflect situations of unrest, trauma, and war—illustrating brief but emotionally-charged effects on her family, health, and psychological well-being. The final clip ends with her in a (refugee) tent staring blankly at a single candle on a more modest birthday cake. The subsequent text reads: "Just because it isn't happening here...doesn't mean it isn't happening"; and viewers are encouraged to #SaveSyriasChildren. In addition to suggesting some of the disastrous effects of war on children, it is an excellent way to introduce topics like the sociological imagination and empathy. Viewers might consider how social structures in the various contexts shape these individual outcomes. In other words, how is this individual child's biography shaped by the external social and historical forces beyond her control? How do the clips reflect the very different political structures, social conflicts, and economic opportunities that will likely shape the girl's life in very different ways? In doing so, viewers are likely to recognize the importance of empathy in understanding the experiences of groups that are different from our own. For a similar video connecting the sociological imagination to empathy, see sociologist Sam Richards' Ted Talk. Thanks to Michael Miller for suggesting this clip!
Submitted By: Paul Dean
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