“Osman’s Run” was a transmedia, online, real-time, human rights docu-drama that I created for Irish development agency Trócaire, inspired by the growth of mobile phone usage in Africa. What would happen if a young refugee, lost in Africa, had only a mobile phone to help him find his family?
It ran on Bebo for six weeks from February to April 2009, and charted the story of a teenage boy called Osman, whose family was forced from their home by the military in Sudan.
Osman used his father’s mobile phone to capture images and short videos of his family’s journey, and to get them online. These videos were intercepted by a young media student in Ireland, who mapped Osman’s journey and encouraged his friends to campaign for peace in Sudan.
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.