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Crushed, but not Destroyed: Can Social Media and Music Transform Lives?

By Raana Forgah

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” - 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

In Myanmar their homes are burning and in Bangladesh their homes are flooding. More than700,000 Rohingya were displaced in Bangladesh refugee camps but landslides and floods “bringin new misery” for the Rohingya. Strong winds and monsoon rains have caused 24,000 men,women, and children to be torn away from their shelters in Bangladesh. There is little beingdone by the international community to address this emergency. We must use social media andmusic as a tool for applying pressure on mass media outlets to report about climate changerefugees and to gain sympathizers in order to show the world that the climate crisis is not solely aRohingya crisis, but a human crisis.

“I felt helpless, I didn’t understand where to go…the water was rising so fast that we couldn’t go back. Most of our belongings were washed away.'' 4000 acres of forest hills were clearedrapidly with the massive influx of Rohingya refugees. Trees have been turned into shelters andsources of fuel allowing the refugees to be exposed to landslides, desertification, floods, anddepletion of groundwater resources. In addition, riverine and flash floods have displaced morethan 650,000 Somali refugees in the first eight months of 2020. What can we do to informglobal efforts to address this crisis? Social media and music can be powerful tools for socialchange.

During the Armenian genocide, the Near East Relief Committee launched a campaign usingmass media tools to draw attention to the Armenian genocide. News of the genocide appeared onthe front pages of newspapers, in movies and advertisements, and soon millions of Americanswere supporting the NER’s efforts. The coverage saved thousands of lives and it is a methodthat can be used to save the livelihoods of thousands more. Everyone can use social media,whether young or old, to demand that media outlets, like the New York Times and evencelebrities, cover the climate change crisis going on in the camps.

“Music is a technology to generate affection…care for a person, a place, or an issue. Music hasan enchanting effect on the listener; it can change minds and inflict action. The diffusion of themelody, rhythm, and lyrics can tell a story, create an image, and trigger compassion. InZimbabwe, Oliver Mtukudzi’s music has spread awareness and created dialogue on the issue ofHIV and AIDS and other musicians in Zimbabwe are using their voices to protest human rightsviolations and address issues. We can use music to spread global awareness and concern on themass displacements being exacerbated by climate change in Bangladesh and Somalia.

The world must see this issue as a global responsibility in order for that to happen we mustgenerate care in the people through the power of music and social media.


Works Cited

Da Silva, Danda. “Music Can Change the World | Africa Renewal.” United Nations, United Nations, Dec. 2013,

Fong, Brian. “How Mass Media Saved Thousands during the Armenian Genocide.” FacingToday - A Facing History Blog, Facing History & Ourselves, 24 Apr. 2018,

MacDonald, Hannah, and Ehsanul Hoque. “Floods Bring New Misery for RohingyaRefugees in Bangladesh Camps.” UNHCR, United Nations High Commissioner forRefugees, 30 July 2021,


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