Talking Stone Film

Film Reviews & Headlines


– Stories are like stars. They’re individual, shiny, and bright. They move us, they inspire us. Narratives are a collection of stories as constellations are a
collective of stars, right? – [Woman] Words of wisdom. – Culture is like a galaxy,
ever an expanding and evolving. Culture is made of narratives, just like a galaxy is made,
in part, of constellations. And all elements of a
galaxy, story and narrative, are in a constant state
of motion and interaction, each influencing and being
influenced by others. So culture is not static. So these are not my words. This is an analogy by The Culture Group who are our ally philosophers, would say. And considering the question
that we’re posing today, which is can art and
culture accelerate change? And in the many months that all of us, many of us here in this room, have been planning this town hall we’ve had this analogy and these words from The Culture Group
in the back of our minds. And then yesterday, this happened. – [Woman] Yes. Did you see it? Can you tell us what it is? – Oh yeah, thank you so much. So yesterday, some very
interesting when big scientists sat together and they had six
different press conferences across the world because it was a very collaborative approach
and what they presented to us after lot of 15 days of
bringing forth this image and a lot of people were
like, “What, what is that?” So, that is the image of a black hole, which is about 26,000
light years from us– – [Brenda] 55 million. – Yeah, no. – 55 million. – Billion, billion
kilometers away from us. – Oh miles. – Miles and kilometers. This is the light years I’m talking about. So, it’s really very far away. I mean, our human race will
evolve and die many times for us to reach stage that far. So, for the first time in human history, we have been able to
photograph a black hole. And this is the image
that have been created bu, due to collaboration of
scientists across the world and it’s quite a moment of achievement for the human civilization and how deep into the void then into the
darkness, we can look at. So, it’s a great– – Amit and I were freaking
out about this yesterday and texting. Although, I didn’t actually
put him up to that completely. So, you can imagine, I had
that analogy in my head and then, this happened yesterday and it speaks to the change that Tanya and I decided yesterday to
make to all of our plans. Everything we have been thinking about, hey Anne, welcome, hi Katie. Which is that question,
it’s Einstein, right? It’s Einstein who first
imagined a possibility of black holes and you recall
in the opening plenary, right, just search quoting Einstein about imagination knowledge. Then, as Amit was saying, “This project was truly
international effort, “the event horizon telescope,” and I was reminded of what Bright Simon from and mPedigree spoke of yesterday about trust and collaboration. That is what it took to pull this off. And so, Tanya and I
yesterday basically scrapped all of our plans, our gorgeous
plans for the opening here, and decided to recognize
that what has happened in the forum in the last few days sped everything up for us. It accelerated change, it accelerated our sense of possibility and we thought, when we planned this, that this would be kind
of the outlier of ’em, be like the weirdos talking
about art and culture, everybody else’s business plans and budget and social impact but we were wrong. As always, the audience, participants, a head of the organizers,
ahead of of the play. We decided to mix it up and recognize that this has been everywhere in the forum in these last few days. I’m thinking about iGen actually. Remember in opening
plenary, she talked about how crucial her work is
to address the question of who has the power. That’s what she’s asking
a lot in her work. But what did she say? She said, “We think of economic power, “we think of political power, “we even sometimes think of social power,” but she said, “What
about narrative power?” And it’s that work with David
and Holly and Participant, that question with Roma
about narrative power. She also talked about, she just talked about populating the
narrative environment. For us, that’s our galaxy
culture question, right? Yesterday, I was in
Journalists Under Fire. I don’t know if anybody here when went with Pat Mitchell and
Witness and others, right? Some of you, was incredible, right? What a session that was. And Yvette from Witness said, “Impunity thrives in silence,
in the absence of stories.” So we’ve mixed it up,
we’ve opened this up. I wanna go to Tanya
now from Four Freedoms, but are there any other
things that people have heard just on this question before we go in or do you wanna tell us
who you are a little bit, or do you wanna just be
quiet for the moment? Are there other things
that struck you, anybody, on arts and culture? You can but you must be on the mic because everything is going
to be on the mic today. – This seems also on topic
according to my Twitter feed. – Oh that’s so good.
– Right? – Tell that story.
– To the person who took the actual
picture of the black hole is a young female scientist, Katie Bouman. – What she did is she
worked on a incredible team. She developed a very complicated
and unusual algorithm essentially the coding
to try and correctly and accurately depict this object, and she was a graduate student
as she was developing this with this incredible international team. So, it’s a brilliant story. I’m gonna introducing Tanya now, who’s here with Four Freedoms, and I just wanna read you their mission just quickly before I try
to, just one sentence of it. She’ll tell you about Four
Freedoms but to listen to this. I don’t need that. We believe citizenship, sorry. We believe citizenship is
defined by participation, not by ideology. We are a hub for artists, art
institutions, and citizens who want to be engaged,
more engaged in public life. So, Tanya, over to you. – Thank you. I, as Brenda mentioned, we completely through with our plans and re-calibrated our approach because of all powerful sessions
that have been happening over the last few days. I was telling Brenda yesterday, I was showing her the
notes that I’ve been taking during the, and I was telling her that
I am an optimistic nihilist by nature, by birth, and that
being here these last few days has amplified both sides, but what, it’s also made very clear is that we have this community of people who are chipping away at the systems that plays corporate
interests over human interest and that’s what we’re
here to talk about today. So, I’m representing Four Freedoms which is an artist
coalition that was founded by the artist, Eric Gottesman
and Hank Willis Thomas last year as some at the origin story of why we’re here today. Last year, they launched what was the largest creative
collaboration in US history with more than 700 activations through exhibitions,
town halls, billboards, and public programs in
each of the 50 states plus Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. In addition, they are in the
iconic Four Freedoms, F-O-U-R, images of Norman Rockwell,
they were iconic, but they were mostly white. So, what we did is we made these images to reflect a more inclusive
and representative America, and they made it to the
covers of Time Magazine, The New York Times and
into the social media feeds of Alicia Keys. This town hall is the continuation of a beautiful partnership
that we began with Sundance at the festival this year and
we are so grateful to Skoll for allowing us to continue
this partnership here. This is actually our first
ever international town hall. We, at that town hall, our question was, can art save democracy? Which was a provocation because it implies that there is a democracy to be saved. Today, the question is, can art and culture accelerate change? Which is not a provocation
but an aspiration. And we are going to here
from inspiring people who are, by coincidence, all women, who are making that aspiration a reality. The format and this is
where you all come in is that after each of the speakers gets a short presentation, we’re gonna open up the
floor and Bren and I will be out there with our
mics getting on our game show, and hope that you will participate, engage in the conversation. And then, we will try to leave
each other with takeaways that you can take out the world and into your own communities. So, we’re gonna get
started with Judy Kibinge. To say a few words about Judy. This is her second year at Skoll. She is a filmmaker and
a founder of Docubox which is an East African
film fund based in Nairobi. She came as a Sundance Skoll Stories of Change fellow last year and this year, returns as a forum fellow. She’s also working on a short fiction film with another Skoll grantee WASUP and I believe, we have
someone here from the WASUP? Water And Sanitation For The Urban Poor. Judy, take it away. – Okay, I’ve never used
one of these before. It’s very cool. I was looking for a mic. Yeah, culture, custom, social behavior of a particular people or society, but what if that particular people didn’t exist 60 years ago? What if they came
together 15, 57 years ago? And what if somebody with
a pencil just like this one simply drew an area on a map and said, “You, 47 different
people are now the same.” And that’s what happened there. Kenya was free, we had this day of joy, this day of independence, this day of breaking away from colonizers. Around this time, my
father just a small boy was watching his fellow young boys singing circumcision songs by a river and he wasn’t allowed to come close and he wasn’t allowed to learn those words because they were backwards. What if that culture that was supposed to bring you together
took your words away, and right about then, my Aunt Tabitha, was given a set of beads. I have no idea what my beads
from my tribe look like and have mother, my grandmother through them in a pit latrine
because they were primitive. So, what if culture is taken away? What do you replace it with? All kinds of things have begun to happen in the country that I am
from, a country that I love. These are the kind of headlines
that we look at everyday and these sorts of behavior,
greed and corruption have sadly began to feel like the thing that we call culture, and right now, there is a particularly
big scandal happening, and it’s a dam scandal, and every time you look
in the papers in my home, you see headlines like this
about dam cash disappearing, and we just shake our hands and we say, This is us, this is what we have become. How can art possibly change
that something so ingrained? Where are our beads? Where are our songs? What do we fight this with? This is a typical part of Kenya. I live in Nairobi, I live in the city but much of Kenya’s rural,
it’s a very unequal space, a very, very unequal country. and Watamu is about 260 kilometers from where I live, very, very dry. When people want water,
this is where they walk to, a small borehole that has
had things in water dug up and they come with donkeys and they come with mitungis and they carry water away with dairy cans. Then, from amongst them,
a farmer was featured as a hero in the film called,
Thank you for the Rain.” – [Reporter] It’s crunch
time at the cold 21 in Paris. The objective and requirements are clear. We need a universal agreement on climate. – They have polluted our
atmosphere for 200 years. And their wealth is
based upon our poverty. – So, in the middle of that
picture is an impact producer, Emily Wanja, who is with our hero and star of the film from Watamu, Kisilu and, I mean, Wanja, I think, you’re the only person who
can tell us what happened when that film was taken in Tumo Tumo. – So, oh. Thank you. In a nutshell, that’s Kisilu right there who is saw in the film and
in that whole background where you have a people who
do not trust the system, who do not trust their government, these people, ’cause I’m
new, I was new to this place. They have no reason to trust myself or as who were handling
this film at this point as when we went to talk
them them and we asked, we were showing them the
trailer and we asked. If there’s one thing you’d
want to happen to you as a result of this
film, what would it be? And they were like, “Yeah, okay, anyway, “we’ll just tell you. “So we really would like a dam “because our main problem here is water, “so if you can build us an earth dam “and like some education
and irrigation farms around, “that’ll be great.” So, for us, we’ve sealed the
ability of taking that film which captures their reality
and you take it in front of a decision-maker or a
change-maker who then realizes, “Oh, I have something that other people “in the world are looking for.” What happen is this film, we
managed to get some support to give them exactly what they asked for which was this earth dam. The community articulating
their own problems and their own issues and
what was most urgent to them brought together all these collaborators, government, organizations, and funders. As we speak, this was a
groundbreaking of that dam, – And whose land was it
on and what did he say? – Pardon?
– Whose land was it on? – One person from community said, “If ever really this happens
and it comes to pass, “I’m gonna donate my own piece of land “for that dam to be built.” Well, a year and a half
later, we surprised him, we were like, we’re here,
we want to build the dam. So, he gave his piece of land. So now, waiting for the rains, Thank you for the Rain to come and then, this this dam can collect the water. And yeah, so this is us,
the inauguration of the dam with the community and all of
us lifting our hand saying, yay, we are on for this, and we’re completely 100% behind it, yeah. – Thank you. Just to wrap it up as Brenda said, culture is dynamic, culture changes. Just because things have been taken away doesn’t mean that we
can’t fill those spaces, those voids up with new
things to believe in. Making films, making art, that is what keeps our
culture growing and changing, and evolving into something positive. – Thank you.
– Thank you. – I will say, the impact campaign
for Thank you for the Rain was one of the most innovative
media-based impact strategies that we’ve seen in many, many
years of doing this work. So, it’s truly, truly incredible. Next, I’m gonna introduce Jennifer Pahlka. Jen is the present CEO of Code for America and for those of your here last year, you know that she won the
Skoll award last year, but thanks to Stories of Change which is Sundance’s 11-year partnership that Sandy Hertz from
Skoll started 11 years ago, long before I was at Sundance which is more like six months ago, has brought together social entrepreneurs and storytellers and
artists over many years like Wendy here have worked
on, Rick where’s Scarlet? We have a lot of fellows
here from that program. It’s been evolving over many years. So, we dragged Jen and her team to a lab in the mountains, the Rocky Mountains, and she’s like, “What am I doing here?” Which is basically you’re
same reaction when I was like, can you join this town hall? Like, really, why again? But I wanna say one thing about
Jen just before you come up that what I learned in those four days about the work that Code for America does, how they think about
imagining creative possibility and understanding what government
could actually look like and how it could service and
the focus on implementation and governance, not just on elections, it changed my mind,
actually changed my mind about how I understand the state, how I understand the government, and how I understand my own government. And that for me, was a creative
mind-blowing experience that happened just as
we were listening to you as we’re thinking about
story ideas together. So, you have forever changed that for me and now, you can say whatever you want ’cause it’ll all be good so over you. – You could say anything now.
– Come on, don’t you? – Thanks, mind if I come up on stage– – Yeah, come on stage.
– ‘Cause I’m sure and it’s. Thank you, that was a very
generous introduction and, just stay there and also very creative. And thank you everybody at Sundance for continually involving in
this thing, that’s creative ’cause I feel like our work is
very, can be very technical. But I wanted to share a story of a project that I’ve been working on with our team that, I think, has challenged notions of what’s possible in government and, I think, it really does
have an imagination aspects to it despite it being very, very small compared to black holes and
very, very, I think, far from what you would think of in terms of a very creative process. So, imagine that 10 years ago, you were arrested for
possession of marijuana and because of that, now
you have applied for jobs but you don’t get them because you don’t pass
the background check. You can’t get student loans, you can’t live in public housing. It’s actually 4800 statutory
limitations on your life because you were caught
possessing marijuana. Now, in California, I’m
gonna talk about California, but, in fact, this is true in almost every state
in the United States. Laws change. In 2014, we passed something
called Proposition 47 which took a wide-range
of non-violent felonies and reclassified them as misdemeanors, and in a couple years later,
we passed Proposition 64 which actually made marijuana
not even illegal anymore, and yet, the law has changed
but you as an individual still have that felony on your record, because what we have expected you to do is a process that is kind
of mind-bogglingly complex, confusing, difficult. In fact, you would be among
only about 3% of eligible people if you’d actually gone
through that process and gotten that felony record, that felony cleared off
of your criminal record. It’s an estimate that we
think about 3% of people have been able to do it. I would describe to you the
process to you in greater detail but we don’t have time and
you would be very annoyed by the time I was
finished talking about it. I won’t annoy you with it, but I will share a what we, our journey into how we might address this issue given that there are so many
people who are suffering from this unnecessary
burden of a criminal record. So, a couple years ago, we started, we just basically did what we do. We put the form online
and made it a lot simpler and easier to understand. So, you could start the
process without having to go to a legal clinic between
nine and 11 on Tuesdays. You could just do it
from your mobile phone. And then, we would follow
up with you by text message to help you get through
the rest of those pieces. But in about three years,
we were only able to get about 10,000 people through that process and there is hundreds
of thousands of people eligible for this relief
in California alone, and millions nationally. We started to say, why are we
making people do this at all? In fact, if you think about
it the way we think about it, there is a database, there’s
actually two databases but for simplicity sake, the State Department of
Justice has a database, your record is in the database, there’s a field in the database, and there’s a code in that
field that means a felony. We can change that to a code
that doesn’t mean a felony. We don’t need 10 steps and
going through the court systems and judges and lawyers
every step of the way. We were very lucky to find a forward-leaning district
attorney right in own backyard, DA George Gascon in San
Francisco who said very publicly, “I would like to clear
these criminal records “under Prop 64 in San
Francisco automatically,” and so, we went to him and said, great, what does that mean? Automatic, and he said, “Well, we’re not making
people petition anymore. “I’m and having paralegals stay late “and they are filling out all of the forms “for these people. “We are one-by-one taking
records off the state database, “manually scanning them,
manually filling of forms, “and they go through all the process.” And we said, well, great,
how many have you done? He said, “Well, it’s been about six weeks, “we’ve gotten 20 of them done.” And we were able to convince him that we should do that a different way and at the same time, there was a law that have been proposed in the
California State Legislature that would require every
county, not just DA Gascon, to automatically, at least,
assess the available records and we called the state
legislative director and said, does the
governor sign this thing? It surprisingly sailed
through the assembly. And he said, “No, because
we done an analysis on it “and it’s gonna take like
seven million paralegals “over 30 years and the
state can’t afford it.” And we said, can we talk to
you about a different way of thinking about this problem? And, in fact, we did convince, not, we didn’t talk to the governor directly, but, I think, we did convince
the governor to sign the bill. And then, a couple weeks ago, we announced that we did first
automatic records clearance in San Francisco. We cleared 8,132 records. Our piece of it took about 19 minutes. We just went down to Los
Angeles and announce that, LA will do it. We think that will be more
like 50,000 or 60,000 records just in that county and
then we wanna do that. – [Woman] 25 minutes. – Yeah, but it’s gonna take
like 22 minutes, something. We’re gonna hopefully
do all of California, we’d like to do all of the country and just remove this burden because it shouldn’t take 27 years to give people the justice that they need. Thank you. What I really walked away from that was just stunning
difficulty of getting people to think about the problem differently and I think, it’s
certainly just the notion of like, hey, you know, it’s
a record in the database and that sounds intimidating
to people sometimes to think about it that way, but I’m trying to make
it less intimidating. I’m trying to explain
the people that like, if you’ve ever like change the address in your friend’s address
book like you’ve done that, it’s just very accessible,
but also, I think, we have to think about
justice differently. We can’t be happy when the law passes. We actually have to say, if
we haven’t gotten justice for these people, if we haven’t removed these intense burdens on their lives to keep them in a cycle of
poverty and incarceration, that’s not justice and 27 years to do something administrative isn’t what we should be
accepting our society. – [Woman] Yes, thank you. – Thank you. – I have to say, just one thing. I wanted to say, but before
we introduce the next person, that reminds me, I was from,
there was so many things that I took from
yesterday’s award ceremony but one was Mariana, did I see Mariana? Mariana and Harambi said,
“We need to to fall in love “with our problems, make
sure we’re falling in love “with our problems,
but not falling in love “with our solutions,” and I felt that that represents that so well. Coming up with a different solution. – [Woman] We love that,
he’s that all the time. – So good, come on in if you want. There’s plenty of seats and
there’s even couchbase up here. You can come sit next
to Indhu, come on, yes. Come on up. Another artist from
Lagos who I already met. So, go next, who’s next?? – Next, we have Shirley. Shirley Abraham who is
also like Judy returning from a second year at
the Skoll World Forum. She came first with the
Stories of Change Fellowship and now, as a forum fellow. Her debut feature, The Cinema Travellers, co-directed with Amit
Madheshiya, premiered at Cannes, and won India’s National Film
Award among many other prizes. One of her new projects,
First Time Stories is part of a collaboration
with Amazon Conservation Team, a Skoll awardee, Shirley? – Thank you. Thank you. Every time I’m confronted
with this conversation around art and social change, I start to feel a little bit nervous as you can probably tell right now. I start to feel what
Zadie Smith, the novelist, described as someone who’s
third in line to the throne, you’re aware of possibilities
but you you must not bank upon the outcome. I think, it’s primarily
because of my experience as a filmmaker where I’m observing people just leaving out the
smallness of their lives. On an everyday basis, we usually
don’t leave out big ideas. We leave out what is
tiny and what is granular and very often, it has meant
deep and profound things to me as I hope you share through the
course of this conversation. I once found myself a meeting with a group of acid attack survivors. These are young women who
have survived the most brutal, dehumanizing form of violence. Most of their attackers are men who have been stalking them and once they realized that their advances are either rejected or ignored, they could go to the market and just buy a bottle of a toilet cleaner
and this is corrosive acid, which they could fling in
the face of these women, and upon impact, these
women have felt their faces literally melt into their hands. And when I met them,
they were trying to deal with this very deep
sense of physical trauma, but they were also trying to
attempt what looked to me, sorry, I had my mic, mental
and emotional impossibility. They were trying to write
letters to their attackers in a bit to try and
see if they can attempt the idea of reconciliation. That was something that really spoke to me and we’ll watch a clip
from the film that we made, and I’ll then, share a few thoughts about how I think about
art and social change. After the film came out,
I was constantly in touch with these women and every
time they would say that, we were just watching your
film before you called. We’ve been watching the film all day. I’m a documentary filmmaker. I walk with the assumption
that mostly nobody watches what I make but I
try to really investigate into why is it that these women would love to watch themselves over and over again. I think, I understood the direction in which the answers might
lie but only much later. These were a few images
that we were looking at while we were making the film. These are images of Egyptian sculptures with the noses broken off. This is the way in which
a lot of these figures have come to us through history. Artists, audience, and
curators would tell you that this desecration has
happened because there’s a certain connection that
we as human beings make between the essence of
a deity and her image. We all believe that the essence of a deity is contained in her image. So, once you’ve defiled this image, you’ve defiled this deity. And by extension, we believed
that about human beings. And this was what I’ve been guiding the violence that had been
brought upon these women, and somewhere, they had
begun to then embody the sense of shame and
distance of deprivation that society brings upon them. For a very long time,
they had hidden themselves inside their houses. They would not come out,
they would hide their faces if they were to ever,
let’s say, travel in a bus. I think, because the film try to transcend their physical situations
and start looking at an emotional landscape, and somewhere start
looking at them as people with a fully-formed sense of personhood. It’s sort of somewhere
brought them to the point of feeling that a certain
sense of visual justice had been done to them. This is something that I always come back with whenever I’m thinking
of art and social change. These are choices that we are
making actively as artists. These are choices that determine
what will be remembered and how it will be seen. I think, that the extent that our drives are catalyzing social change, a lot of it has to begin
from within the frame. and I will really put
my money on that sense of finding justice of representation. Thanks. – Thank you, Shirley. Holly Gordon, up next. – [Holly] I was just wondering
what I was gonna say. – After that, I know, right? – [Holly] Yeah. – So, we have Holly and then,
we’re gonna come to Indhu and, Holly’s the chief impact officer of Participant Media and
I’ve known Holly’s work for many years. She’s worked in this field
in many different roles at a global level, in
non-profits and all kinds of organizing over many years. Come on up, I’ll just
embarrass you before you start. I wanna just thank you and
the team at Participant. iGen, we were quoting
you, Jen left, right? Sorry, she’s here, she left, but– – [Holly] Is she gone? – She was here, she’s gone, but we were quoting iGen
so much this morning and what you and David in the whole team have been doing at Participant, you’re really pushing
the edges in new ways, I would say in the last
couple years in this work and thinking about an
incredibly creative ways, I mean, the kinds of Latin
American filmmakers that, in the kinds of representation, we were talking about Yalitza this year, but also Daniela Vega
who was an incredible– – A Fantastic Woman.
– Incredible film, A Fantastic Woman, the
first transgender woman, an Oscar win in another
on Oscar-winning film, so congratulations to you all, but I’ll be curious to hear
since you live in this everyday and your whole team at Participant does, how are you thinking
about these questions? – Well, I think, that’s
incredibly generous. – And true, only speaking truth today. – I was actually going to start, so I’m relatively new to Participant. I joined the year and a half ago and my background was built, my background first
initially was as a journalist and and then, I was part of
a project called Girl Rising. That was, at the heart had a
film that told nine stories of nine girls who live
all around the world, and who, I like to say, were extraordinary but actually rather ordinary. And the goal was to use
storytelling to raise visibility about the challenges that
girls face to education, the barriers that girls, boys and girls face structural barriers, like not enough schools and
teachers who don’t show up. The girls have a certain
as social set of barriers that they face to make
those visible and personal. To do something with
that campaign which was to create alliances around the world with other leaders on the ground who are fighting those battles every day, and alliances around the world with decision-makers and leaders, whether they’d be in the corporate sector, the foundation sector,
and their policy sector who share the same vision and value. For me, to come to a
place like Participant where, that was a very
grassroots type approach that we took to building a
campaign, a global campaign. Participant, and it all started
from a journalistic lens which is right, what’s
what are the facts of this? And try to layer story
in, whereas Participant, I’ve been thinking about this difference between journalism and
documentary actually this week a lot in some of the
conversations I’ve had. Participant starts with story and humanity and then, reaches from
this extraordinary platform that we have because of
the level of the expertise of our content and the
distribution ecosystem in which we live but what
I was hearing this morning is that, the sort of, the intersection is the same, right? The journey is the same
and I wrote it down while you were talking, Judy, which was, you start and Shirley too. You start with community
and a lived experience and character and a journey. And then you move that with
creativity and narrative with, you move that, you translate that. So, your job is to be a translator and the translation comes
through imagination, making a story personal which we just did in that kitchen scene, making it proximate which we
went to Kenya today, right? Making it emotional and making it human. Getting on a bicycle
with your baby and then, I’m going to Paris, right? And then, you bring it to an audience and what I thought was so interesting about the way you and one Wanja built, your effort was you
were clear about the ask about what you wanted
is the outcome, right? So, that came from community
at the beginning, right? And then outcome comes at the end. It’s funny I just spotted
Amy ’cause she was saying, we had a meeting
yesterday, she was saying, “It’s the what and then, it’s the so what, “and then it’s the now what. “If you forget about the now what, “you get from going with the so what, “and you got them and then
you need to have the now what, “and the now what always has to happen “from a sense of community” We can hurt a little bit of so, I was actually talk about Roma. What was so beautiful about
that at the global level is that it started from
a personal journey, Alfonso’s personal journey
and his understanding of community and his understanding about, we have a time check,
sorry, I’m going on and on. He’s lived the experience and
then the character of Yalitza. How many of you have seen Roma? Great, and if haven’t, you must. The character of Yalitza and his so what from the beginning was wanting
to have his Libo, Yalitza, seen by society for the
role that she played at this very personal
moment of his life, right? She was a rock with his mother getting them through that period and yet he understood that in Mexico, domestic workers have no rights. – Right.
– Right? So, the power, it’s the same kind of power but in a global scale and the power of personal proximate and
story in the story of Roma comes through partnering, partnering with the
organizations and leaders who are doing the work everyday
which is why partnering iGen nationally in the United States and then with Kasei and Cemeas and leaders on the ground in
Mexico who’ve been fighting for domestic workers’ rights
with years was integral because they’re a community. – I mean, I think, one of
things also too just to– – Interest my soliloquy? – No, I’m so into it,
I could do it all day. I’m so into it, but one of
the things that has struck me is the cultural impact
of an indigenous woman, Mexican woman as the central,
as a story protagonist, as both an actor and as the character, I would say we don’t even know that yet, we don’t know what possibility
that will even accelerate. – So I was gonna make two final points, which is there’s the political power and enabling environment
that the film created both here in the United States where Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights is being introduced to Congress
and you heard New Mexico just passed estate Domestic
Workers’ Bill of Rights very recently but also in Mexico where the day after the
Oscar’s and Mexican president made a commitment in his
morning a press conference to ratify the ILO Convention 189. That moment, and for the
first time in December, the Supreme Court voted
to give domestic workers access to social security protection, and they have launched
off the back of Roma and what they’re calling
in Mexico the Roma effect, they have launched an enrollment of two million pilot programs to roll two million domestic
workers across the country into their social security program. – [Brenda] Great, well. – Just fabulous, and at the same time, you have Yalitza on the
cover of Vogue magazine presenting beauty, an indigenous woman, Mexican beauty in a
global fashion magazine that then transfer,
we’d like to joke there at Participant, if you
read the Economy Senorita as weekly, like we want
you, that’s what we what. We want everyone who’s
reading the hard stuff and the soft stuff too. So, that’s how you start to move culture because you move it with
precision and scalpel with the so what and then
you move in with culture and beauty with the broader
introduction of humanity that maybe people weren’t seeing. – Thank you, yeah. – Now, we’re gonna go
to our our last speaker before we bring it out to you for your comments and questions
so please have them ready. What we’ve done here is
we’ve unintentionally covered many different ways, many different forms of art and creativity
that people are using to push forward change. Through film, through
literature, through technology, and now, we’re gonna go to theater. Indhu Rubasingham, who
is the artistic director of Kiln Theatre. Now, in the same way that by coincidence, all of the speakers today who are catalyzing change are women. Indhu, is by coincidence,
Sri Lankan like me. – Hi.
– Thank you, Indhu. – Hi, like any good
live theatrical events, one changes and moves. I’m just gonna do something
a little bit different. But I just wanna tell you a bit, so basically, my answer
to the question is yes. Okay, that’s it. Absolutely, I love theater, I’m deeply, deeply passionate about it, and I want to tell you a bit why. But first of all, I’m the
artistic director of Kiln Theatre which is a theater Northwest London and there’s a context too if
those of you who don’t know, Kilburn, is in borough of Brent, over 130 languages are
spoken in its schools. It is one of the most
diverse boroughs in London, in terms of many different
immigrant communities. The mission statement there is, the unheard voice being
part of the mainstream, different lenses to the world, and a local theater with
international vision. Therefore, if we’re speaking locally, we’re speaking internationally. If we’re speaking to those communities, if we’re getting those
people into the theater, we’re telling those stories,
then, we’re empowering them and giving them a sense of entitlement. That’s one of the things
we talk in our team about everyone is entitled. How do we make everybody feel entitled? I’m just gonna go, I had a thought. I’m just gonna go really
personal in this narrative because I’ve been in the
industry for just 20 years and when I started, when
I persuaded my parents to let me even do a drama
degree and get into this career. When I started, I felt like I was in the last bastion of the British Empire because it was like, the
minute I moved down to London, it was like, everything
was like, put my race and my gender all the time in a way that I hadn’t noticed
whilst I was growing up, and to the point where
even to start off with so, I just graduated from university, I got this brilliant
traineeship at theater and I know part of the the
reason I got that interview was because of my name
’cause they were like, “We’ve never seen a name like that.” We know that we should get. And I was told to have a career in the, to have to have a career, I had to setup an Asian theater company. and I was like, but I’m
not interested into that. That is not was brought me to the arts with the storytelling, I’m interested in the
complexity of identity and the nuances of the world
we live in in the gray. Skip forward to a few years ago. I’m now the artistic director and even when I started in London, ’cause I was one of the
first non-white artistic female directors in London. Quite a few journalist were,
“Oh, what’s it like being “the first .” I go, tell me what it’s
like to be a white man and I’ll tell you what it’s
like to be an Asian woman. It was a real anger and
a real frustration that, I want to be seen like all the others. I wanted to be on my own terms, and I resisted and I resented. I’ve told you a bit about
context of the theater and these all joins up in a
very non-linear narrative. But it was one of our programs that’s really, really important to, so we do our plays, we do our plays, the productions on the stage and stuff but we do an incredibly,
which I am deeply proud of, and I don’t do it, that’s why I can’t say, incredible outreach program which is going into different communities in
getting them into the theater. For the scale of our,
the size of our theater, the team are really committed into how to get people into the theater. One of these programs
called Minding the Gap, and we worked with, it’s
only happens in our borough. We worked with 11 to 18-year-olds who are basically not in
the proper school system. They’ve got, they’re in a porter cabin. Do you know what a porter cabin is? Like, in the side, often silo
at the side of the school. They’re not integrating the school system ’cause their English is not good enough. Basically, these group of kids are recently arrived immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. So, then it’s porter cabin
five days a week, one teacher. We work with them a day a week for a year and it’s culminate, it’s drama skills, it’s communication
skills, it’s confidence, it’s using drama to empower
to the sense of identity, sense of community. In this particular day,
and I love this program and everyone loves this
program and it’s one thing we will not get allowed to be cut. I mean funding wise. One day, I’d been at the arts council which is the body that
gives money to theater, so I’ve been at a meeting
about, senior meeting. And in this meeting, again,
I was getting irritated because they were saying,
“It’s really great “one of the positions. “What’s brilliant about you
being an artistic director “is that you’re a role model.” I said, I don’t wanna be a role model. I just wanted to my work. I was like quite agitated and quite aggressive to the system. Anyway, I came back to the theater, we had the showing on our stage. There were over 140 kids on the stage, hyper excited, about to
do their presentation. Yes, it was rough, it was raw, it wasn’t the most polished
things but they was so excited. I went on an institute. As I walked on stage and
I was looking at them. It was just to the theater
staff and to the other students. It wasn’t a public
performance in that way, and as I stood on the stage and I saw most of these young people had a similar skin coloring to me and I saw me as the leader
of the organization, it’s just the click, a penny dropped, it is okay to be a role model if these people feel that they can be in this position of power. I’m just talking about the
personal transformation of acceptance. But then, what happened at the
end, I went and thanked them. This young person came up to
me as I was on stage and said, “Can I talk, can I say something?” And he was very timid and he
said and he was very timid and he just said and he’s formal, and his English was sensitive and he stood in the stage and said, “I want to thank, I want to, “I want to thank my teachers.” He was very formal in his language. And he just said, “I came to
this country, I was nobody. “I stand on the stage, I’m somebody.” And that’s the transformative empowerment that accelerates change, because nothing in this
country, in London, had given him that sense of
ownership and sense of identity. And that is what we do in theater. Theater, it creates like community that collects a sense of identity, the ability to belong
and to live in nuance, and to live in the complexity of debate as opposed to the black and white, and gives that sense of expression. It attracts the rebels,
it attracts the outsiders, and stuff like that. But I just want to end on,
and what I love about it is it’s so small and it’s so like, theater can exist without its audience. It only exist in that moment because this is collective expression, and in this community of people coming together to share something. Compared to film,
compared to other mediums, it is hardly, it’s small
who it can reach us to, but I love how everyone,
governments and power bases are absolutely threatened by it. That’s what makes me realize
we’re really powerful. And to the point, I was
gonna give a long thing of examples throughout history, how amazing and brilliant a theater is because it’s done this. You only have to look at
Trump’s reaction to Hamilton and I was looking at Trump, and him going, “It’s not very good.” Yeah, go figure that, but
I just wanna show that. I mean, in very government, I
mean the British government, in India in the 19th
century, the censorship laws, it brought in because
of community theater. But yesterday, in London, a
play opened in a 90-seat theater which is, if you just, yeah, called Pah-La at the rural court, like
I said, 90-seat theater. It speaks to the issues around methods of peaceful protest in Tibet, and was written in consultation
with the Dalai Lama, Abhishek, the playwright,
and this is a quote, “My mails are under surveillance. “I’ve also been offered a lot of money “to sell the play to a Chinese theater “and give up my license. “I’ve been offered a lot of money “to stop it from being staged. “I was also offered money “to make three important
changes in the play. “All of which are refused.” I think, one of them was like, there’s a dialogue with the Dalai Lama and it was like, he says,
no, he said, was the Dalai, the question was, was the Dalai Lama
involved in the protest? And the answer is no in the play and he was asked to say yes. Changed the light, no to yes. Change is a narrative, but, “All of which are refused obviously, “a lot of important I
have is illegal in China.” “If I entered China,
they’ll put me in plague.” I mean, yes, it’s very
scary, but it’s brilliant that we have that power to
come as a collective as people. – Let’s come to you, get
people can go have a loo, yeah. Daniel and then Jessica, I’m
at you, but start over here. Thank you, Indhu. That was, you left us. – Thank you so much for
putting this amazing panel and for sharing all these stories. I’m Daniel Bookbinder,
I’m a director of Alterna, which is an organization that works with social entrepreneurs
in Central America. Talking about catalyzing the acceleration of possibility and change. A few years ago, I saw Spotlight. – [Brenda] Spotlight. – Spotlight. – [Brenda] Who’ve seen Spotlight? Another participant, Jet, right? I was thinking with Spotlight
for Central America. – [Holly] Can you say a little bit about– – [Brenda] Yeah, say about Spotlight. – It’s the real story of the Boston Globe about covering the stories
of Catholic priests, like– – Abusing children.
– Abusing children, exactly. So, basically, it opened
my, it blew my mind when I understood who was
behind that amazing movie and that amazing story. Basically, it amplified the way I saw the work that I was doing with social entrepreneurs
in Central America. The thing is this, we’ve worked with over 1500 entrepreneurs, mostly with agriculture,
sustainable fashion, energy, and at least in Latin America, the creative industries are not well-seen as being kind of impact
entrepreneurs, it’s a weird thing. So, after Spotlight, we
took a go and we designed a program to identify and to
cultivate social entrepreneurs through creative industries and that was all because
of Spotlight, and yeah. – [Brenda] So good to know. – On that way, because, and
I’m sorry for this question because that might be a
little bit of a turn-off, but because we work with
social entrepreneurs that are mostly for profit and that need to make a living and to
have a business model, where does metrics stand
specifically for you, Holly, but for all of you. Do metrics play a role in your models, in your organizations? And you can show a little
bit about them please? – You wanna take that and we’ll come and– – Yeah, sure.
– We have about 15, 20 minutes. – So, Participant is a, should I stand up? – Yeah. – So, Participant is a
double bottom line company. We are a for-profit company and I think, that’s an incredibly
important part of our DNA because it really demands that our content is commercially viable because we wanna reach
a large audience, right? So, that’s important piece of our DNA. So, the metric there is that we’re trying to sell to a distributor
at an advantage, right, for less than we spend. On the impact, side we are 100% thinking from the very beginning
as we’re architecting a, we architect a theory of
change which is business model, but on social impact side. Anyone who works at media knows that it’s pretty basic and you can’t, because we’re working at scale, you can always measure at scale. So, as I have tried to do
some proximate measures, so create your theory of change
and then, we count things. How many people see things and then we look most of our outcomes, so our outputs, we count
but most if our outcomes are almost always collaborative because we are– – [Brenda] The number of
partnerships adept for those. – We are but a star in the constellation as part of a galaxy. Our job is to really actually
create constellations around us and try to light
up the galaxy all at once, and we just have this
special rocket fuel tool. Every now and then, there
is a movie like Spotlight that comes out of
nowhere seemingly, right. and breaks open, opens
people’s eyes in a way that only global content. I would say that an inconvenient
truth at the same thing. Right, those can be lightning
in a bottle moments, but really, the thing that
I think is most exciting about content and art as a
story, as a change-making tool is that it invites collaboration. It’s only as good as the
partners that you put around it and I just did wanna recognize
Aaron Huey in the back there. – Yeah, we see Aaron.
– From amplifier as the dude creating
some art and application. He’s taking, I don’t know, how much you know about amplifiers work, but amplifier.org, he
creates art that ends up being posters and ended up, the thing, I think, is so
extraordinary about his work is he lets everyone
participate in a celebration of change through art
that you can download. It’s massively accessible. so more things like that where we can– – I wanna and I think speaking
of that question about scale, there’s one here, but also I’m gonna take
moderator’s advantage, do you mind if I come to you? So, because, I think,
it’s a deep question. I’ve known Jessica Lapen for 30 years like back in the bar days
and women’s straight at her. Now, she is the acting ambassador of United States to South Africa. So, you think, something changed but I woke up this morning about this and I was like soft diplomacy. I mean, the United States
government and your work, it’s a huge commitment
to culture and arts. I’m just curious partly in
that question in this context, how you’re thinking
about that in diplomacy and if you could stand
up please, thank you. – Thanks, Brenda. I think, it’s interesting piece to bring in to the conversation
right because in many ways, the starting point in the room, I think, is a little bit how do
we change government. But there are elements of government that are also about change. So, striking from me listening
is we funded a project with Hank Willis Thomas in South Africa. We amplified and did a lot of work with Girl Rising in Rwanda and that’s just like what I’ve done in the last couple of years. So, there’s a way in
which government, I think, can be a part of the ecosystem, or simply is, and, I think
that’s useful to think about though it’s also perfectly useful and we’d be crazy not too to say I like, okay, wait, just who’s funding
and how their funding matter. How does that impact content? That’s part of responsible engagement is thinking where is the
money coming from on this. But for us, we spend
a huge amount of money but also of energy in the cultural space because it’s such an obvious way of asking and engaging on hard questions. So, particularly in South Africa, then the focus of all of
our, like, I don’t know, a lot of our cultural programming is on shared challenges, shared histories, shared issues around
race, current and past, and then what’s the learning
from one another and so on. The soft diplomacy side,
I would say, if you start from a place to humility, which is, that we have something to learn, that’s gonna completely open
up a different relationship and one of the best ways of doing it is, in fact, through cultural programming because then, you can talk in
a much more honest, open way about shared challenges. – Thank you for letting me take advantage for our 30 years of friendship. We’re still friends. – Hi, thank you for this amazing panel. My name is Jay, I work at YouTube and one of the questions, I
work mostly with non-profit and social impact content
creators, hi, Holly. I’m interested in getting
feedback from you guys on we like to think that
technology accelerates change and we tell ourselves that a lot but, I think, we don’t necessarily listen as much as we should to
cultural contact creators like yourself to say what
is technology’s role, what do you want it to be,
and how can we do better? – Come back here. – [Woman] Yeah. – My name is Guthrie, I’m from
the MasterCard Foundation. My question really
relates to social media. I live in South Africa, I come from Kenya and every day I’m following what’s going on on Twitter especially, and so for example, in Kenya, you have a group Kenyans on Twitter, What typically happens is that whenever there is a
scandal for three days, Kenyans on Twitter go crazy. There is a different bet
which looks like art to me and said this is where I
need to hear your thoughts. People make videos, just
really a funny video about something making fun of a politician or making fun of a situation that is not comfortable at all. Now, I’ve seen instances of people talking about something
that someone has done wrong, and this going viral and
forcing people to resign. It’s not necessarily art,
but there is the other bit where there is a particular
man that has gone viral. It’s clearly humor. It brings attention to a particular issue. So, this brings me back to the question but Holly Gordon was asking
about how do you translate that spotlight on a
particular issue into action that is beyond just
getting someone to resign? – Dorothy up here and then we’ll
come back to that question. – My question is about how do we make sure that the content of
what were communicating through the power of
art is the right content and what moves me to ask that question is because I got stuck on
one of the videos here, the one of the woman who’d
been brutalized by acid, because, for me, in my experience,
both with personal trauma and is an experienced peer
counselor trainer is it she actually needed to cry and that man was telling her not to cry, that if she waited long enough, there would be enough scabs on
it but she could get over it when, for me, the right content would have been somebody
welcoming her tears so that she could move
through it and actually heal instead of scabbing over. – [Brenda] Interesting
perspective an educator. – [Both] Right. – The educator coming
into a film and I’m gonna, whenever in doubt, I feel
like a quote Ben Okri. Do you know the Nigerian poet? We’ll come to the next questioner. I just I just wanna speak to that. Here is what Ben Okri says,
“Beware of the stories “you read or tell subtly at night “beneath the waters of consciousness. “They are altering your world.” I think, it’s incredibly
important to recognize that there is power of story and narrative can work many different ways. There are racist ropes, there
are misogynist narratives, there are cultures that
are changing in ways that we are different than
some of us might want. So, I think, the question is a deep one, whether it’s specific to that film or not, but we have some other here. We have about five, 10
more minutes so keep going. – Yeah, I think, if we take two more, and then, if anybody in the audience, and any of our speakers
would like to comment on the points that have been raised, and then we’ll do a quick
wrap-up with some takeaways. – Hi, everyone, thank you
for that amazing discussion. I’m from Myanmar, my name is Kai. I’m from Yamayu and Parma Opportunity. I myself are not an artist but I’m really like trust art and culture
can change everything. So, I have a one question that, how can a voice of an artist with a vision on social change be heard
through the art world if such works are not
appreciated in the country? – Deep, very good, right. Nisha? – Hi, my name is– – [Woman] Can you repeat
the end of that question? – Could you repeat the question? – Sorry, how can the voice of an artist with a vision on social change be heard through the art world if such works are not
appreciated in the country? – Thank you. – I also wanted to say thank
you for the really great panel and such great content
that’s being created. I work for Bongo, I’m a
former documentary filmmaker turned kids cartoon producer. But, I wanted to ask about how much are any of you looking towards even more mainstream? What kind of pop culture medium? What can we do there? I mean, film’s like an inconvenient truth and Spotlight are somewhat mainstream. But still, there’s a lot of people who were just watching action
movies and American Idol and who knows what else. Are any if you trying to do any outreach? Just say, create maybe a pipeline towards the types of
content that you’re creating from the more just the rest of the noise of what else is out there? And, I think, you know with
things like Black Panther and other things we’re seeing
opportunities for change there but I wanna know like towards your work. – I think, that question
of audience is deeply who you’re trying to reach. Is there a mainstream? Does the mainstream exist anymore? Where and what if it’s not in the country that you’re trying to get out? Do we have a– – So, we really have to wrap up. – Yeah, we’re gonna wrap. We’ve been given the two-minute mark. – Shall we have Karen and then– – Can we extend for two minutes more? – Yeah, we can extend. – I don’t want anybody to feel like they– – See, I’m getting a nod
back there from Caspian. They love me. – Yeah, okay. – [Woman] I’ll be really quick. I definitely believe that art and culture could accelerate change and- – Where’s the mic? – [Woman] Yeah, I definitely
believe that art and culture can accelerate change. My question will be there’s so may great content and stories. I learned so much today just
listening to the speakers. How can you get that out
quicker through technology, through social media,
through inspiring others? And a lot of times, I believe, sometimes. There’s so much out there,
and as an individual, people think they can’t make a difference, but collectively you can. Or actually if you just
take one small action, you effect one, two, five, 10 people, like you’re already
making a big difference, and you’re already part of the process. So yeah, how can you get
these stories out there? – That’s a great question, yeah. – Indhu, Shirley, Judy, Jennifer.
– Wait, one more, sorry. Wendy.
– Keep going. Oh, ’cause we got that
nice reprieve, good, Wendy. You’re so good. – Flip my hair. – Shall I go? – Yes.
– Okay. This has been a fantastic
conversation, thank you. I run an organization in the US called The Alliance for Media Arts and Culture. So, it about this stuff
all the time everyday. It’s why I get up in the morning and I’m obsessed with this notion of all of these amazing projects that demonstrate that proof of concept that art and culture can accelerate change but
I’m also profoundly disturbed about the system within
which the mode of production of that art and culture is so broken. We started this conversation with data and we all used to talk about
the people formerly known as the audience because now
the audience is participating but more recently, it’s kind of the data formerly known as people and
so much of the community is, many of the communities that
we’re looking at in this work have no voice in the production. – [Brenda] Who’s making– – Who’s making it and for whom, and we have to go deeper
than project-based thinking. We have to go into systems-thinking and if we do that together, I think, we’ll be able to get the change. – [Brenda] Wendy, what do you think? Do you think culture is
an important part of that? Or do you think is economic? – No, culture is inextricable. Data only makes sense when
it’s in a cultural context. Anything that we’re trying to do, the economic shifts we’re trying to make, they only matter in a cultural context. – [Brenda] So, you feel like
it can have systemic effects? – It will only have systemic effect if it’s inextricably tied. – What’s another yes for the question? I think of all– – Thank you for these amazing
observations and questions. We have a very short time to try and summarize them and address them but I hope to that the conversations will continue outside of this town hall. This is what this town
halls are intended to do, to catalyze the civic discourse
to bring people together that otherwise why not
engage with each other. We’ve heard about the
uses of social media, the importance of voice when your voice is not welcome in your own country, how to reach an audience, who is your audience and who’s
the creator of those stories? Is it the right person telling this story? Is it the right story being
told in the right way? And how can technology help? So, is there anyone who can
address those in one minute? Would like to take a stand about it? Addressing any of those questions. Yeah.
– Brave, brave. – Hi, I’m Laura Herb
from the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA. – [Brenda] Perfect correspondent. – [Laura] I’m relatively new
I will start with that caveat but an answer to, a sort of
answer to Nisha’s question about mainstream entertainment because I think about this constantly and, I think, movies are complicated so I’m gonna talk about TV
instead which is, I think, even what you’re doing
with children’s cartoons, for reaching people week by week online as you were telling me yesterday
and you can tackle issues in a way that is kind
of hidden and, I think, television reaches both
really wide audiences and also really niche audiences that are seeking out stuff
that just looks entertaining and it’s easier to slip
in some of the issues that you wanna get across
without people having to be like, “Oh, there’s a documentary
about that thing “that I am already fascinated by.” I think, it’s just the way
to be a little, I don’t know, sneaky in a good way so
that’s in terms of mainstream. That’s what I always think of, it’s TV being are a part of the answer. – I can try to do.
– You have a mic. – Oh yeah. I can try to do a little summary which I’m not gonna get
all the way through. But there are folks that are working. There was just actually a
conference in Los Angeles that was sponsored by the
Ford Foundation MacArthur and others to reach creatives
and they’re a whole host of leaders from impacted communities whether it be immigration rights leaders, gender rights leaders, who came together to talk
to that creative community about the kinds of stories
that they could be telling and integrating that into the plot lines of everyday entertainment
so that’s happening. I love the comment around
data formerly known as people. I think, both data and
technology are both deeply, oh, I think, she may have–
– Wendy’s right there. – Oh Wendy, there you are. Amazingly, they are both
amazing and challenging, so data can tell us a lot
about how different kinds of characters are
portrayed in our content, what percentage of women characters are written to be agreeable, for example. I will give it to you, 85%
to 90% of women characters written to be agreeable, which means they don’t
disagree with anything. So, when you raise your
hand and you disagree, no wonder everyone’s like,
“What’s wrong with you?” There are organizations
like Storyline Partners, Doc Society, Pop Culture Collaborative that are also trying to put
new lenses into our content. They’re trying to think about
who’s telling the stories and who has the right to tell the stories, and then, how can technology help. Technology, oh, how do
you get content out there in a noisy, messy world? You look for allies and
how can we use technology to find your allies, right? Always be looking for the
people who share your beliefs and they’re not always
gonna have the same beliefs about what moves you and what doesn’t but if you look for your allies, it’s through the crowd-sourcing that’s now possible around the world that we can actually accelerate change. And, I believe, and I
think, Participant believes that humans are fundamentally good, and so we’re finding but evil
gets a lot more visibility but the more we can make a good visible, we start to lead possies,
and possies could start with two, three, four, five, and they can drew a crowd of millions. And technology is the only way. – Amen. – Oh yes, Jen. – Jen. – I just wanted to echo
the, I love that line, picking up again on the, what is it? – [Both] Data formerly as people. – [Holly] It’s great. – We have this sort of
seminal, this blog post that one of our fellows wrote,
called People, Not Data. And as an organization,
that’s known for data. I don’t know how meta
I’m I’m allowed to get– – [Brenda] Go meta. – There’s really broken narrative
in our society about data and what data is good for, and, I think, to change narrative
around technology and data is another part of, I think,
what we only engage in because of heroization
of technology and data that if you interrogated a
little, it’s clearly not working, and we wrote, a colleague
may wrote again about this after we have this framework
of People, Not Data after the 2016 election
in the United States was like, obviously our data
did not tell us what we were, he wrote, “Advertising focus groups “and quantitative polling
don’t work anymore.” Again, quote from America Doctrine, “Understand, number one,
understand your users’ needs. “Number two, show, don’t tell “that you understand these needs. “And three, meet your users’ needs.” And he observed that the
president elect at the time, “One, our election, by doing a
bit of one and a lot of two”, so that’s really, he obviously
resonated with a lot of folks who our polling did not
tell us this, right? We’re seeing the data but not
the people behind the data and the extent to which the system or the establishment is broken and if it’s not doing these three things. What is the data actually good for? Only in the context that actually understanding people’s needs. – And if we don’t connect
measurement and theory and theory and measurement, we run up with unreliable numbers. We are coming to wrap–
– Okay. – I’m gonna leave it with Tanya. – I think, one of the takeaways, for me, is that there is an urgent
need to re-humanize the world and that art and culture
is a way to do that and I hope that you all, after today, will become even more
ambassadors for the importance of linking art and culture
with social entrepreneurship. There’s some things that art can do in particular ways that
pivot consciousness. Art provides levity and comfort. Art sparks emotions and ideas. And art can catalyze change. I think we heard yesterday
as you were talking about impunity thrives in silence. Impunity also thrives without witnesses. And that’s what a lot of you
are providing, witnesses. In a dark moment and annihilistic moment, I had said too good friend
of mine, Farai Chideya, who’s at the Ford Foundation that the bad guys ultimately win. I don’t actually believe that everybody’s fundamentally good. – Unions.
– So I’m annihilist. Do the bad guys, ultimately win? And she responded brilliantly, “But the storytellers also win.” So, on that note, thank
you all for being here.

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