On November 16, 2015, a terrible thing happened to parents Marius and Ruth Bodnariu. They had their children taken from them because they believe in Christianity. Being that the Bodnariu family live in a small village, the teachers in the village believed it dangerous for the Bodnariu children to grow up in a household with Christian parents who were “indoctrinating” them. Due to this, the Norwegian child welfare agency, Barnevernet, took the Bodnariu’s two daughters out of their school without first telling the parents. They also took the Bodnariu’s other three children away and told the Bondariu family, two days after stealing their children, that their children were “ integrating well into two separate foster homes” (Padbury, 2016).
Therefore, the website “Stop Barnevernet” issued a protest banner to use in demonstrations against the child welfare agency Barnevernet for using racial prejudice as a viable reason to take away children from their parents. The media-makers want the Norwegian agency to know that it’s not okay to remove children “due to cultural misunderstanding and prejudice” which is why they used the crying faces of children and bold red color to highlight the statement. Overall, their techniques are effective in bringing strong emotion to anyone who looks at the children’s sad faces since it evokes a feeling of anger towards the horrible effects the agency is having on innocent children.
While the Norwegian child welfare agency is supposed to have the well-being of children in mind, Barnevernet, has been known to steal children away from parents for reasons that are highly prejudiced towards different race, religions, or culture. This is why the protest banner says, in Norwegian, the slogan “ Norway, stop abuse! Let the children in the family BODNARIU back to their parents.” These words are in all white color and have a font that is very noticeable. The letters are very straight so it’s very easy to see what the protest banner is protesting against. The main theme of the protest banner is “STOP BARNEVERNET” which is in all capital letters to emphasize the mission of the media-makers: to stop the agency from stealing children from parents. The color of the word “STOP” is all red and “BARNEVERNET” is black which pairs well together at the forefront of the Norwegian flag. The visual effect of the Norwegian flag serves to emphasize where the agency Barnevernet is from and where the crime is being done: Norway.
Thus, the emphasis on color is very important for the media makers to get their message of stopping Barnevernet from stealing children and, most importantly, trying to get them to give the Bodnariu children their kids back. Due to the word “STOP” being all red, it’s clear that the media-makers used this because the color red means stop. Below the main headline, there is another phrase that indicates what the child welfare agency has done to receive such backlash. The phrase says “ BARNEVERNET Steals Children.” With the agency name in all capital letters and a red color, the media-makers use the color effectively because it’s the same color as “STOP” up above the phrase. The media-makers are using a call-to-action with bright colors to get the attention of the viewer’s eyes. Therefore, upon looking at the banner, the viewers eyes go to all the red parts and the message is clearly identifiable proving the techniques of color contrast as well as bolded phrases are effective.
In addition to the use of color contrast and bolded phrases, the media makers also include pictures of children’s faces. These faces aren’t those of happy children but those of sad, crying children. The children in the pictures appear to be of different races but this isn’t what is important for the media-makers since they make it a point to make the children’s faces black and white. Not only does this technique serve the purpose of showing the viewer that all children are the same regardless of color, but it also emphasizes the pain that children are going through because of Barnevernet’s antiquated way of “helping” children. There is even a picture of a child’s fingers, which evokes the feeling a parent might feel at their child being slipped away from their fingers at the hands of the cruel Barnevernet agency. The media-makers do a great job with organizing the pictures by utilizing a square theme for the children’s faces. Ultimately, this is very effective because just enough of the children’s sad eyes, faces and fingertips are seen to evoke the feeling of anguish by any viewer.
The protest flyer from the website, Stop Barnevernet, is very detailed in its colors, textual effects, and children’s pictures. While the faces of the children evoke a feeling of sadness and anguish in the viewer, the bright red colors and bolded text emphasize the message of stopping Barnevernet from stealing children. At the same time, the media-makers want to try to persuade the agency to return the children of the Bodnariu family by showing how sad the children are away from their parents.
No matter what the parents believe in, it’s not right for anybody to come in unannounced and steal someone’s children. The only time this is okay is if the child is in danger but, because the Bodnariu weren’t found to be in danger, what the Barnevernet agency did was outright wrong. Thus, the media-makers used effective techniques to engage the viewer and ultimately persuade the masses and Barneverenet agency to stop its wrongdoings. Hopefully, the protest banner will work since “Barnevernet has been under fire from the international community for years accused of targeting immigrant families for child removal due to cultural misunderstanding and prejudice” ( Padbury, 2016).
- Protest Flyer. “Stop Barnervernet.”
- Padbury, Sarah. “Support swells for Christian family in Norway after authorities seize children.“ WORLD. 21 Jan 2016. Web. 6 March 2016. http://www.worldmag.com/2016/01/support_swells_for_christian_family_in_norway_after_authorities_seize_children