Three years ago, on Human Rights Day 2017, I first asked out loud whether we need a new model for communicating human rights. I was surprised by how many people agreed and so I set out to find it.
That journey continues, but after hope-based workshops with many of you and other activists all over the world that pointed to themes of community, care and compassion, I felt I had enough of a lead to work with Fine Acts to put out a call to artists to help us visualise what it looks like to not only enjoy human rights…
How can civil society groups and charities apply narrative work in practice? Based on our work with migration groups in the UK during the pandemic, we believe a crucial step is more narrative synergy between organisations that share the same values. Scroll right to the end for practical steps and more information about how you can get involved in collective narrative change.
Have you ever looked closely at a detailed painting and then slowly stepped back to see the picture take shape and come alive before your eyes? It’s a magical feeling when the…
High lachrymosity alert! Few of these ads and videos will leave you with dry eyes, but all of them will send you into the new year feeling inspired. Often coming from surprising sources, these videos touched hearts and souls this year.
2019 was a big year for me as I left my job to set up hope-based communications. These campaigns encouraged me to believe that change requires making people believe change is possible. …
How do you tell surprising, powerful stories for social change to a global audience that respect and empower both subject and the viewer?
For me, the job of a human rights communicator is to create empathy for other humans in my audience. You need to get attention for the story, but also let people tell their story themselves. How do you get the balance right?
To answer that question, Catherine Murphy and I, together with many great colleagues across the Amnesty International movement, produced these Living Guidelines for Ethical Communications earlier this year, and made them public on the organization’s…
Two years ago I wrote a medium post that changed my life. I had a sudden realisation that the role of human rights groups was to give people hope, not just tell them where the problems are, and that there is hope in every story, if we look for it. Hope-based communications was born. Today, I am leaving my job at Amnesty International to start a new life by founding hope-based comms as a new collective for people who want to make a positive case for social change.
Reading stories increases empathy. What better reason to read books from other parts of the world? If every book is a chance to devleop empathy with more people, imagine how many opportunities we miss by always reading books from the same places, written by the same sort of people?
That’s why I am reading a book from every country in the world, from A to Z, to find the best world literature that you have never heard of.
Setting: A poor, rural Jamaican community in the 1970s/1980s.
What it’s about: In another classic from the Caribbean Writers Series, a talented…
I believe every novel should be an adventure, revealing something wholly different to your understanding of the world. That’s why I am reading one book from every country in the world, from A to Z. I’m finding hidden gems that you won’t find on the average bookstore shelf. See more at http://worldreviewofbooks.com and let me know what I should read next.
Setting: Iceland at the end of the First World War
What it’s about: A mysterious boy flits about Reykjavik during the Spanish Flu epidemic. It is a surrealist painting in writing.
He lives in the shadow of the city…
Since publishing this story in 2017, the idea of hope-based communications has grown. In 2019, I set up hope-based communications as a strategic consultancy. find out more at www.hope-based.com.
In 2017, my own approach to communications has completely changed. Having spent the last few months diving into the latest studies from cause communicators in the USA, and studying audience research about human rights around the world, I have realised that human rights communication needs to be about hope and opportunity, not fear and threat.
I’m reading a book from every country in the world — an A to Z of undiscovered world literature. This time, books from Haiti, Honduras and Hungary.
Setting: An imaginary island dictatorship loosely based on 1970s Haiti.
What it’s about: A former politician and opposition leader reduced to hard times enters a local pole-climbing competition to challenge a dictator.
A satirical take on Haitian dictatorship with a heartfelt celebration of the individual spirit.
The best world literature you have never heard of, one country at a time, from A-Z.
There is an incredible amount of great literature, telling important stories, that will never make it onto the shelves of your local bookstore or the pages of your newspaper. I am reading one book from every country in the world, in alphabetical order, to see what we are missing. For the G’s, the highlight comes from Grenada.
Note: Im going for a Michelin Star style rating system: * = a good book worth reading, ** = a great book you really should read, ***…
Founder, Hope-based comms. Human rights strategist. Blogging about world literature in my spare time.