Produced by Charlie Danger
Charlie Danger’s video entitled ‘This black market is destroying our history’ in collaboration with the Netcher Project was commissioned to present the issue of illegal trafficking of artefacts towards the general public, and especially to young people.
The video was published on Charlie Danger’s YouTube channel on 20th September 2020. As of 1st October, the video has been watched by 175,000 viewers. There are over 1200 comments, and the majority of the feedback and remarks were in French, reflecting the significant following of Charlie Danger’s French speaking audience.
In general, the feedback received in the video’s comments was very positive. Most viewers expressed that before viewing the video, they did not know a lot about this topic. Many stated that the video was very clear in its explanations of the issues presented.
A YouTube user, Guillaume Rucheton1 commented:
‘Merci beaucoup pour cette vidéo. Il est vrai que j’étais personnellement peu, voir absolument pas au courant du trafic d’artefacts qui pouvait avoir lieu dans le monde. Une très bonne vidéo qui sensibilise efficacement sur les conséquences majeures que peuvent provoquer ces délits. C’était clair et très bien expliqué.’
[Thank you very much for this video. It is true that I personally was largely, if not completely unaware of the trafficking of artefacts that could take place in the world. A very good video that effectively raises awareness of the major consequences that these crimes can lead to. It was clear and very well explained.]
This, along with other similar comments, reveals that the video has helped promote an issue otherwise not well publicised among its audience. The breadth of research, sources and interviews proved popular among viewers.
There was also a demonstration of curiosity about the topic itself from various viewers, not only through comments such as ‘Tres intéressant, merci pour ces informations, j’ai découvert énormément de choses’ [Very interesting, thank you for this information, I have discovered many things], but also through questions posed.
The most common questions were concerning what to do and who to contact if an object is found at random or on your own property. For instance, Charlie Ramone asked, ‘Que faire si on a des objets anciens et qu’on souhaite les restituer?’ [What should you do if you have some old objects and want to give them in?] Questions like this suggest a lack of knowledge of the procedures to go through when an artefact is found. It also reveals a genuine concern and desire amongst viewers to do the right thing when in this situation.
Occasionally, viewers published more detailed comments with various questions. For example, Gautier B commented:
‘Super vidéo! Mais y a-t-il des moyens pour que des objets antiques se retrouvent entre les mains des collectionneurs et particuliers? Ou selon toi est-il préférable que tous les artefacts ne soient aux mains que des spécialistes et des musées? Peut-on imaginer des arrangements où “les pilleurs” travaillent côte à côte, avec les archéologues qui se soucient de l’intégrité du patrimoine et les pilleurs qui amènent les moyens et repartent avec une partie du « trésor »?
[Great video! But are there ways for antique objects to end up in the hands of collectors and individuals? Or do you think it is better for all artefacts only to be in the hands of specialists and museums? Could we envision an arrangement where the “looters” and archaeologists work alongside each other, with the archaeologists concerning themselves with the integrity of the heritage and the looters bringing in the artefacts and coming away with part of the “treasure”?]
These questions show a willingness to try to find solutions to the problem of artefact trafficking as a result of the video.
Another reaction to the video was sadness that looters are destroying our history in this way. A history student remarked: ‘…je fais le triste constat que l’histoire, la culture et le patrimoine ne sont décidement pas une priorité pour notre société… C’est tellement triste…’ [I notice sadly that history, culture, and heritage are definitely not a priority for our society… It’s so sad…’. Others also commented that it is distressing that people are looting our own history. The fact that the video has this effect on viewers demonstrates its success in raising concern for fighting the looting and trafficking of artefacts.
Overall, the reaction to the video has been positive, with considerable viewer engagement, as evidenced by the large following and number of comments. Remarks detailed above indicate a gap in the audience’s knowledge where the topic of the trafficking of artefacts is concerned, but also a keen curiosity to learn more about the subject. The majority of viewers appeared interested in trying to help solve the problems addressed. The response shows that the video has certainly been successful in raising awareness of artefact trafficking.