Creativity is the single most powerful tool we possess to create change. Creative activism involves the conscious application of our collective creativity to some of the most pressing issues we face today.
We are dedicated to elevating these most positive stories about the people that inspire us every day to build a more sustainable future for ourselves and the planet that we call home.
Meet some of the Creative Activists leading this change around the world.
ZEX: UGANDA’S ACTIVIST ARTIST
Zex, affectionately referred to as The Ghetto Prime Minister, is a rising star in Uganda with the #1 hit song Ratata. As a longtime collaborator with to.org, he is dedicated to helping his community of nationals and refugees rise up through the arts.
“I’m the mirror of society. You’re not going to find me singing about Bugatti, because we don’t have the Bugatti. But I will sing about the people hustling like me. My dream is to see a better community.”
FARAJA: EMPOWERING AFRICA
Born in Tanzania, Faraja Kotta Nyalandu is a social entrepreneur educating the next generation of leaders through her two organizations: Shule Direct & Ndoto Hub.
In 2018, Faraja visited Ugandan-based SINA – Social Innovation Academy -and was inspired by the opportunities to build bridges with other entrepreneurial organizations across the continent.
If we can have sparks of different young women entrepreneurs across Africa working on themselves, working on their ideas and having a network which is providing, not just resources, but also the peer to peer support and access to learn from each other. That would be great.
MIKE: BUILDING BY FOLLOWING
Leading to.org’s community efforts in Uganda, Mike has been referred to as a culture hacker, space activator, applied geographer, creative activist, tactical urbanist, and a new humanitarian. Like his intellectual hero Buckminster Fuller, he aspires to be a comprehensive anticipatory design scientist turning his attention to the growing challenge of displaced peoples.
I’m not a humanitarian aid worker or trying to “help” others. I just love being around people and places with tremendous potential for change.
NOELLE: ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION MODELS
As youth unemployment continues to rise in Uganda, Noelle and You&I Foundation are finding alternative solutions to educate and empower locals in Kampala’s ghetto community of Kyebando.
Even those who haven’t gone through formal education, they grasp, because this is focused on the practicals, you understand? Theory, there’s a lot of explaining, and then you have to write down things, you memorize and all this.
DASLIMA: SPREADING KNOWLEDGE INTO KUTUPALONG
In 2018, Daslima joined a group of aspiring Bangladeshi artisan entrepreneurs at MakerSpace – a small training facility at the Mermaid Beach Resort in Cox’s Bazar. In addition to learning important skills to jumpstart their own businesses, Daslima and crew also spent time teaching their new Rohingya neighbours in Kutupalong Refugee Settlement.
It is important that they learn these skills as well. Then they can make a living, either on their own, or by working at a shop.
SALIOU: BLIND UPCYCLED ARTIST
Enter the artist community studio of blind Senegalese sculptor & Creative Activist, Saliou Diop, and learn how he is inspired by trash spread throughout the eastern Senegalese province of Tambacounda that he transforms into beautiful shapes.
I draw inspiration from the trash, to collect materials that speak to me.