Dossiers

FUTUREPERFECT is a kaleidoscope of initiatives and projects from around the world. As diverse as their local circumstances may be, they often face the same challenges. We collected our stories in themed portfolios to showcase the wide array of solutions and approaches to address common problems, conceived by creative minds from all over the world.

Toppling Barriers

Inclusion begins with encounters. A Finnish living community shows us how to do that. What better way to gain new experiences than by encountering people who perceive the world differently? At the Na Laga’at Center, the deaf-blind actors’ special perception of the world is precisely what enables them to convey new forms of communication. For a physical or mental disability does not render a person incapable or helpless. On the contrary, as a Tunisian farm proves, the appropriate setting enables people with disabilities to become entrepreneurs. The Be.accessible initiative is aiming high, working to make New Zealand the most barrier-free country in the world – so people can lead quality lives, not only in pre-defined spaces, but any time, any place.

In Helsinki’s Sanervakoti people suffering from dementia and mental health problems are living under the same roof as students, sharing everyday life and special activities.
The Na Laga’at Theater is the world’s only ensemble of deaf-blind actors. Onstage, they find their common language.
In the village of Sidi Thabet, a farm welcomes disabled children from disadvantaged families, providing the opportunity of vocational training. Along the way, the children acquire the art of “horse whispering”.
Imagine a world where every environment, experience and community is truly accessible for all. In New Zealand, the Be. Accessible social change movement is achieving just this.

    Photo (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0): Seed

    LIFE IN PLASTIC

    The world produces more than 200 million tons of plastic every year, half of which ends up in the trash almost immediately. Creative up-cycling ensures that this garbage at least won’t end up in the environment: In Australia, the U.S. and Egypt, dedicated individuals are cleaning up behind our throw-away society, transforming trash into sculptures, skateboards or designer furniture. While these efforts won’t curb our plastic production, they greatly extend the useful lifespan of various plastic articles (which, for plastic bags, is an outrageous 25 minutes). Chapeau! to our zero-waste family from France, who reduced their trash output to one percent of the original amount, proving that we don’t necessarily have to produce more than 600 kilos of plastic waste per head annually.

    As a sculpture student, Alison McDonald often couldn’t afford material like bronze. That sparked the Australian artist’s career in reinventing discarded items.
    The US start-up Bureo fights ocean pollution and supports Chilean fishing communities by upcycling discarded fishing nets into skateboards.
    Two young Egyptians reinvent plastic bags by fusing tradition and modernity.
    Overflowing trash cans could be a thing of the past: It is absolutely possible to produce less than eleven pounds of trash per year. Even with children. A French family has accomplished this feat for a few years now, hassle-free, and eating well.



      Photo (CC BY-NC-ND): Raewyn Murray

      THE CITY IS OURS

      Filthy, dim and suffocating? Anonymous, expensive and chaotic? Or is it rather open, multi-faceted and worth living in? Cities are what we make them – as proven by urban initiatives from São Paulo, Kiev, Montreal and Christchurch. They all strive to create spaces for community and creativity, sustainability and social cohesion, for they understand that the space we live in extends beyond our own bed and kitchen. When people assume responsibility for the place they live in, plazas full of garbage and littered riverbanks turn into green oases amidst gray concrete, and decrepit alleys and even heaps of earthquake rubble can become a place of neighborly encounter.

      Active citizens in West São Paulo have revitalized a square to create a small oasis in the middle of the city.
      Photo: Lybid Ye © Creative-Commons-Lizenz BY-NC-ND 3.0
      The people of Kyiv are reclaiming the public space in their city. Thanks to a local initiative, the embankment along the formerly polluted river Lybid is filled with new life.
      From one summer to the next, Montreal always gets a little bit greener. Revitalized by citizen initiatives, alleys are trading in their concrete armour for a mantle of greenery.
      © Photo: Erica Austin (Licence: CC BY-NC-ND)
      In the wake of Christchurch’s massive earthquake, a series of social and creative projects bring new life to the battered streets.

        Photo (CC BY-SA): Masaya Tanaka

        Growing Up Well

        Is being young synonymous with freedom and carefreeness? Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Teenagers who lost their family or live in the wrong town or on the wrong side of town often consider their youth a time they would like to leave behind sooner rather than later. The remedy: Giving these youngsters a sense of control over their own fate. An Egyptian radio producer offers teenagers a platform to report on what moves them – in their own language. In Marseille and Tel Aviv, youngsters develop new perspectives in their own unique way – be it in rap videos or on stage. And in the Japanese town of Chiba, youngsters who had a particularly rough start in life are provided with a new family and new endeavors in supervised community living. Teens who feel lost and apathetic are empowered to feel confidence and ownership.

        In a disadvantaged neighborhood in the north of Marseille, magazine Reporterre used the power of rap to create a connection between environmental awareness and the residents’ everyday problems.
        With its colloquial language and broad variety of topics, Radio Antika caters to a young audience. Sometimes the listeners themselves take a seat behind the mic. An article by two students as part of the youth media project Bashkatib.
        Ali Kawakita created NOCA?! to give a home to young people who were abused by their parents during their childhood. Working hard in farming or in crafts, they find their way to independence.
        In a disadvantaged part of Tel Aviv, children and teenagers act in the plays of a Performing Arts Studio. Their parents and the studio’s adult students benefit as much as the neighbourhood children.

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