Will creativity save us? Five global tales of arts and culture, clearing new spaces for civic action


Our comrades in diversity, Atlas of the Future, have launched a fantastic new series called #CultureFutures - where they shake their global network to bring us useful ideas that we can use in our own communities and campaigns. Explore, copy, adapt and reinvent!

⚡ 1. A celebration of Brazil’s diversity

Somos Brasil (We are Brazil) [above]

“Creativity is the bedrock of how we interact, how we question, how we love and how we break into a better place. A modern world that doesn’t allow the creative juices of our better selves to be the bedrock of how we behave, is a world I don’t want to live in.” 

Brazil’s culture-friendly tax law, a bus trip in India where he met his future wife and a desire to dive deep into his growing family’s roots all played their part in the genesis of Somos Brasil: Marcus Lyon’s multi-layered exploration of the beauty and diversity of Brazilian identities. You can see some of his work in the header picture at the top. And more here.

⚡ 2. Pakistani women break taboos with AI

Aurat Raaj (Women Rulers)

“The bad guys are out there, but the good will prevail through it all if we come up with creative solutions.”

Girl motorbikers, transgender activists, divorcee entrepreneurs and female cricket journalists; digital platform Aurat Raaj shows you a different side of Pakistan by breaking taboos with AI and cartoons. Meet Raaji – the patriarch-fighting survivor of an honour killing attempt.

3. Mapping Africa’s untold stories

Mapp Up: giraffe-free zone

“A lot of young Africans have a tendency to think their country is bad. We want people to have a good image of themselves so they can love themselves” – Elsa Miske

Not content to let poverty, war, corruption (and giraffes) dominate Africa’s story, Mapp Up is the video-sharing platform changing the face of African media by sharing local stories through local eyes. They train budding storytellers to make – and map – videos of a brighter side of life.

4. Libraries with buckets of love

SHAU think outside the (ice cream) box

Is there anything sweeter than a library made from ice cream buckets? Yes. One whose facade spells out “books are the windows to the world” in binary code. Add a community area that raises awareness about plastic waste and it’s a sweet recipe for a better future in Indonesia.

The books are the cherries on top. 

5. South Africa’s solar cinema in a box

Sunshine Cinema and their Sunbox

Turning the silver screen green and providing a ray of light in South Africa (literally), Sunshine Cinema is not just an initiative of mobile cinemas powered by the sun. It’s even more brilliant than that. A Johannesburg-born pair curate content about the heroes doing positive work in the world and take it to diverse communities to get people talking about HIV, deforestation, water and other pressing social issues.

“Thinking beyond one’s enclave is important – to imagine future possibilities and viable solutions to the many social problems we face.”