End violence against women say Glasgow refugees

Astrongman lueldawitkabrumandvilte behindthescenes mediacoop

​Refugee men make film opposing violence against women 

17th August 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

A group of refugee men who fled from their homes abroad to seek sanctuary in Scotland are launching an online short film this week calling on other men to stop violence against women.

A Strong Man, which echoes the messages of the White Ribbon Scotland campaign, calls on men of all cultures and faiths to take pride in being gentle and to teach their friends, families and communities, that violence against women is wrong. 

The film was made by 67 men from the Maryhill Integration Network’s men’s group who originate form 11 countries, with the support of Glasgow film-makers Media Co-op. 

It was developed following a series of workshops on White Ribbon themes, with some men going on to become ambassadors for the anti-violence campaign. White Ribbon is an international campaign and the film, made in Scotland, is intended for online sharing across the world.  

The refugee men took on all aspects of the film-making themselves, with the support of Media Co-op. They developed the script, operated the camera and sound, and direction, with members of the group acting as both cast and crew. 

Rose Filippi, Maryhill Integration Network men’s group co-ordinator, said: “All of these men have fled violence or the threat of it to seek safety in Scotland, so this is an issue that resonated with them. 

“Over the course of the project we held workshops with White Ribbon trained speakers, and it seemed a natural next step to make a film.

“It allowed the men to use their considerable skills and also to find a way of communicating a powerful message to other men in their communities, in wider Scottish society and beyond.” 

Firew Desta, a refugee from Ethiopia involved in the making of the film, said: “We wanted to send a strong message that violence against women is wrong no matter what your culture or religion. We must teach our children this; to be respectful and listen to each other. This film gives us a chance to help to change attitudes.” 

The two-minute film, which is available in English, Arabic, Tigrinya and Amharic, reflecting the first languages of men involved, will be distributed by an online social media campaign and available for interested men’s groups, community groups and other organisations. 

Callum Hendry, campaign coordinator for the White Ribbon Scotland Campaign, said: "It is vital that men are able to raise awareness of nature and cause of the issue and to challenge the attitudes of those who excuse violence against women or gender inequality.  

“The film A Strong Man involves men from different cultures describing positive masculinity in their own words and is a valuable contribution to the discussion.”