The Lithuanian Centre for Human Rights (LŽTS) has initiated a campaign sponsored by the EEA and Norway Grants. Their campaign video, where a black man asks strangers to translate a text that someone had written to him in Lithuanian has gone viral on the internet.
The video, which has been seen over half a million times on Youtube since Monday, shows a number of people who think they are invited to audition for a role in a commercial in Lithuania. While waiting on a sofa they were filmed with a hidden camera. A black actor, apparently waiting for the audition, asks them to translate some of the comments he has received on his Facebook page as he has just moved to Lithuania and does not know the language.
Their friendly smiles and helpful expressions change to shock and disgust when they read what they think he has unwittingly received (such as “monkey”, “return to Africa” and “slave”).
The film has stirred up debates on the Internet is shared on Facebook countless times. Most think it is very touching and consider the campaign effective. LŽTS has released the video along with a website to raise awareness about the effects that on line bullying has on people and how they can report it.The video has also been featured in The Independent UK and SpiegelOnline.
The campaign is part of a larger project called “My Rights – Active participation”. It is sponsored by EEA and Norway Grants as part of the NGO program and in cooperation with Antirasistisk Senter/Anti-Racist Centre, Norway. The program aims to strengthen human rights in Lithuania and build dialogue between civil society and public institutions. In addition, it also aims to increase the willingness to strengthen the competence of journalists and police authorities when it comes to freedom of speech and hate speech.
Read more about the project here: http://nvoprograma.lt/news/223/172/Lithuanian-Centre-for-Human-Rights?filter=2014-02
Written by Anders Sebastian Skaug with input from Inga Rudzinskaite.
Read more about the Lithuanian NGO Programme here.