Living in Oberhausen, a campaign that wants to show the city neighbourds from all backgrounds how much the city has to offer, encouraging them to make use of the many existing public services available to ensure social cohesion
The local alternative narrative campaign carried out by the EPIC partners kitev and the Municipality of Oberhausen wants to address the “perceived” inequality among the residents of Oberhausen. With the increase of new arrivals, refugees started to be misperceived by a growing group as a threat to their own prosperity. The campaign wants to counteract this narrative and consciously address all Oberhausen residents by better disseminating the existing services and the varied educative, cultural, and social offers in the city of Oberhausen under one single network, open to all.
The campaign aims to send a message of solidarity and “being there for one another”. The campaign theme is also directly linked to the pilot activity that the partners in Oberhausen have been working on in the framework of the EPIC project. This is the development of a digital platform bringing together and linking all the support services and offers in Oberhausen.
The campaign serves to support this message of the pilot project and to create also a sense of helpfulness among those who want to help. In times like these, we see an increased need for social security, which often makes the acceptance of refugees fragile. Many who develop a negative attitude towards refugees often experience existential fears themselves or a noticeable loss of wealth. With the campaign, EPIC wishes to counteract the feeling of “not being seen” in the population.
As part of its achievements, the campaign has meant the creation of a supporting network around the development of the digital platform and the local campaigns, thanks to the number of internal meetings hosted by the EPIC partners in Oberhausen with many different local initiatives and the target group. Such efforts are meant to pay off in making the results of the campaign more visible and the supporting network sustainable and collaborating beyond the project.
Of great importance has been the cultural and artistic component of the campaign to engage the audience and disseminate the message. On several days in a row, towards the evening, a projection with the slogans of the Life in Oberhausen campaign was shown at three different locations in the city centre. A projection was visible on the facade of the station tower and due to its size, it had a large reach beyond the station forecourt. A second projection primarily appealed to the passers-by at the main train station and could be seen in the interior of the vacancy café next to the main entrance to the station hall. A third projection was at the same time in a converted supermarket downtown, near the shopping street. The projection was placed on monitors in the supermarket’s shop windows and inspires the passing public to stop.
Networking and cultural events were orgnised by the campaign to bring people together, such as the kick-off workshop to launch the campaign, or the e Insta-Walk carried out in connection with a spray activity on the sidewalks and squares in the city center, where a certain number of participants were asked to take photos of the action and post it on their Instagram account with the appropriate hashtag. A local networking event once the digital platform was officially launched was also organised by kitev and the Municipality of Oberhausen to bring all the initiatives cooperating in the city as well as the different target groups together.
The campaign also got a lot of visibility through different social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and different local newspapers) but a crucial element to ensure the message was really reaching a broad representation of the society in Oberhausen was the fact that the campaign chose consciously the locations of artistic actions in a particularly targeted manner, such as the forecourt of the main train station with its central location, very visible to many pedestrians.