Inspired by the growth of mobile phone usage in Africa, I wondered what would happen if a young refugee was lost in war-torn Sudan, with only his father’s mobile phone?
In this daily online docu-drama serial, Osman uses the phone to capture short videos of his difficult journey to safety.
Afraid to put his family in danger, Osman posts the videos in his favourite football chatroom, where everyone thinks they’re fake. However, one young media student in Ireland traces them, and finds himself following Osman’s terrifying journey.
‘Osman’s Run’ was an online, real-time, human rights docu-drama, produced in 2009. It followed a fictional teenage boy called Osman, whose family was forced from their home by the military. I created it for Irish overseas development agency Trócaire, using a transmedia format popularised by the online series Sophia’s Diary.
Episodes of Osman’s Run were released daily on Bebo for six weeks from February to April 2009, and accompanied by daily updates from students following the serial. The project was created in partnership with Bebo, and filmed on location in Ireland and Kenya by Irish production company Kairos Communications.
Best Integrated Campaign Award
Trócaire won a prestigious Public Relations award for Best Integrated Campaign in June 2009 for its awareness-raising work about displacement and conflict in Africa. Osman’s Run was an important part of this integrated campaign.