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mortierbrigade Turns Extreme Right Posters Into Human Rights Posters

The agency and Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen recycle Belgian extreme right-wing party posters for refugees
Thursday, July 11, 2019 — On the occasion of the Flemish Community Day, mortierbrigade and NGO for refugees' rights "Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen" recycled the Belgian extreme right-wing party election posters into printed portraits of refugees. On these, Vlaams Belang’s slogan "Our people first" has been revisited as "Our people too". The giant posters are displayed on the facade of the Beursschouwburg, in the heart of Brussels.

Following the Belgian elections last May, a part of Flanders did not show its most welcoming side, preferring a closed community to a tolerant and open one. For NGO Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, that defends refugees’ rights, mortierbrigade draw attention to the importance of tolerance and integration of refugees in the Flanders of tomorrow. The agency collected Belgian extreme right-wing party Vlaams Belang's election posters after the elections and turned a negative message that excludes a large part of the population into a positive story.

Eef Heylighen, spokesperson for Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen:

"Flanders is a community in which everyone should feel good. Yet, it tells a story of exclusion that leaves no place for multiculturality. At Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen, we want a warm and inclusive community, in which there is also room for newcomers. For people who are looking for a place to feel safe, and to move together towards a more open and tolerant society. In this modern Flanders, we do not say 'our people first' but we say, 'our people too'."

On the website ookonzemensen.be, people can listen to podcasts from the portrayed people. Stories to listen to, but also to read as they are narrated through mean tweets. Each word used to tell the story refers to a tweet with an intolerant or racist character. A way to show how imprinted with hate these stories are and to turn a negative message into a message of hope.

This campaign is the result of a collaboration between mortierbrigade and NGO Vluchtelingen Vlaanderen, with the participation of sound studio RayGun and the design architects of Milk&Cookies.

Listen to the podcasts on Spotify.

Client: Vluchtelingenwerk Vlaanderen
Client contacts: Eef Heylighen

Agency: mortierbrigade
Creative Directors: Jens Mortier, Joost Berends, Philippe De Ceuster
Creatives: Frédéric Zouag, Nicolas Gaspart
Digital Creative: Ramin Afshar

Producer: Tuyen Pham
PR Manager: Anne-Cécile Collignon
Social: Jonas Van Bael, Tom Baetens, Laura De Mey

Digital Director: Pieter Nijs
Digital Project Manager: Jeroen De Bock
UX Strategist: Wout Leemans
Design: Milk&Cookies
Development: Milk&Cookies
DTP: Vito Latorrata

DOP: Jordan Vanschel & Pieter Neirynck
Editor: Jelle Stroo
Grading: Jelle Stroo
Online: Jelle Stroo
Music: Peter Baert
Soundstudio: Raygun
Photograph: Jimmy Kets

Recyclage & drukwerk: Superdruk

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PJA Brings ‘Uncornered’ Stories to Life in Photographic Exhibit for College Bound Dorchester

Two years ago, PJA Advertising + Marketing (PJA) launched a bold, innovative, pro-bono campaign based on a new word “Uncornered.” PJA felt that a single word could change the way people think about the potential of gang members to be positive change agents who can end systemic, generational, urban poverty, according to PJA’s Chief Executive Officer, Phil Johnson.

Johnson states, “We started PJA Advertising to specialize in healthcare and technology and I sometimes asked what do new technologies, life science innovations, and gang members have in common? They are not easy to sell to the public."

However, the name "Uncornered" has drawn national attention to College Bound Dorchester’s first- in-the-nation 'corner-to-college' solution that pays gang members $400 per week to go to college, get a degree, stay in the community, earn a living wage, and become positive (rather than negative) role models in Boston’s most violent streets.

PJA brought this branding to life with the Uncornered Photo Documentary Exhibit, which was on display on Boston Common this past summer and is expected to move to Boston’s City Hall and the University of Massachusetts / Boston later this year.

It paired striking photos of famous and unknown people by Boston photographer John Huet with stories about a time when participants found themselves cornered by racism, a traumatic event, or low expectations and what happened to get them to turn things around and become ‘uncornered’.

Uncornered Students Share Their Stories

Brittany Baldwin, Boston Uncornered Student 
After months of neglecting my health and abusing drugs and alcohol I caught pneumonia and fell into a coma. Within six months of coming out, I lost two of the most important people in my life, my boyfriend and my mother. Losing them was my Uncornered moment. When you lose everything you love, you have to find something to fight for. So I fight for my children who keep me grounded.

Alex Diaz, Boston Uncornered Student
I didn’t care if I lived or died. I went to prison and missed the birth of my first-born daughter. When I got, out, I promised to never miss another day of her life. My daughter saved me from myself, my daughter UNCORNERED me.

Quaknesha Garvin Johnson, Boston Uncornered Student 
I grew up seeing my family members and friends being incarcerated and not understanding why. By my second arrest I was facing 20 years and had almost given up, until I heard the quote “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” That began my UNCORNERED journey.

Mark Culliton, Founder and CEO, College Bound Dorchester
I was living in San Francisco, lost and had forgotten who I was. My father got very sick and I came back to be with him. In those last months together he reminded me of who I was and all that was possible. His path to dying UNCORNERED me.

Founded in 2009, College Bound Dorchester is a Boston nonprofit using education to end systemic generational urban poverty and violence through its Uncornered solution to quip young people with the attitude, skills and experience to graduate from college, focusing on engaging gang-involved youth to become positive leaders in their community.

PJA is a $75 million advertising and marketing agency with offices in Cambridge, Mass. and San Francisco, Calif. PJA serves a global roster of technology, life science and healthcare clients that includes: GE Healthcare, PAREXEL, Patheon, Molecular Health, Xylem, and Aprecia. For more information, visit agencypja.com.

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