SBS Launches World-First Live Documentary for Instagram

In the world’s first ever Instagram documentary, SBS shares the personal journey of Yunus, a 27 year old Rohingya man now living in Melbourne. Created by the Walkley Award-winning SBS Online Documentaries team, audiences can follow Yunus through a series of Instagram posts and videos as he navigates his new home while supporting family overseas.

Launched to coincide with SBS Radio’s newly launched Rohingya language services, She Called Me Red aims to highlight how mobile technology is helping those displaced from their homes stay connected with their loved ones and shines a light on the experiences of refugees who leave their families, homelands and everything they own in search of a new life.

As the only member of his family to have reached Australia, Yunus assists his mother, siblings, nieces and nephews, who are living in Thangkali Refugee Camp, part of the Cox’s Bazar megacamp in Bangladesh, alongside almost one million Rohingya who face a daily struggle during the monsoon season in one of the country’s most flood-prone regions.

Social followers can view Yunus’ regular updates, including curated text, photos and artwork, alongside content shared by his younger brother from Thangkali Refugee Camp. User interaction and comments will be integrated into the social documentary, with SBS aiming to maximise the capabilities of the platform to encourage a dialogue about the Rohingya refugee crisis.

SBS Director of Television and Online Content, Marshall Heald, said: “SBS’s world-first Instagram documentary, She Called Me Red offers an insight into the personal experiences of refugees navigating a new life in Australia. Stories that engage audiences emotionally have the potential to drive real and positive impact, so we hope that this uniquely personal form of storytelling gives Australians a deeper understanding of what it means to be a refugee in this country.”

The social documentary’s title, She Called Me Red, recalls Yunus’ childhood in Myanmar, with his grandmother who called him ‘Lalaya’, which means red, because his pale skinned burned easily in the sun. Since fleeing his home, Yunus has survived torture, the loss of loved ones, a boat passage to Thailand and detention to become an Australian temporary resident.

Yunus said, “I wanted to create a story to remember what happened in my family and for the Rohingya people suffering in refugee camps in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Sometimes I am so sad to think there is no future for my family, but at least they are safe. I am the lucky one – I came here.”

Yunus is currently employed by a Mornington recycling plant in Victoria, however visa conditions mean he must relocate to a regional area and find employment and housing. Despite the challenges he faces, Yunus is optimistic about his future and committed to being an active participant and positive role model for his community in Australia.

Audiences can follow Yunus’ journey on Instagram via from Monday the 13th of August.

Also launching today, SBS Radio’s new language services for Rohingya speakers will provide a platform for one of Australia’s growing communities to share stories and celebrate their culture and people. The new service is part of SBS Radio’s recent review of its language services in conjunction with the 2016 Census, which resulted in providing services to new and emerging communities.

Rohingya content will include community updates and a settlement guide, with expert advice and tips on daily Australian life that new migrants and emerging communities might find unfamiliar. Audiences can access the service digitally via on demand with audio podcasts accessible via and the SBS Radio app for iOS and Android.



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