We are on a mission to shift harmful narratives about Africa by changing the underlying stories that fuel them. Thus, we support storytellers to tell stories better and tell better stories. This is how Africa will get #BetterRepresentation, beyond stereotypes. On a broader level, we are working with Storytellers, Story hearers and Story influencers to enlist narrative changemakers who promote #BetterRepresentation for Africa.
Our research has shown that many stories about Africa lazily revolve around the single story of poor leadership, poverty, corruption, disease, and conflict. As a result, Africa is seen as a broken continent, and Africans as lacking agency. These stories fail to portray an evolving continent that’s creative, dynamic and innovative.
The result? Harmful stereotypes that continue to paint a rigidly negative picture despite massive strides the continent has made in the right direction. Storytellers have leaned on these negative stereotypes for too long; mainstream stories continually show Africa’s “bad” side.
Our Better Representation message has two parts.
First, we want to improve the quality of the stories already being told – tell stories better.
Second, we want to amplify quality stories that feed new narratives as they emerge – tell better stories.
- Educate – We raise awareness on narrative impact and the need for change.
- Fund – We give grants to emerging voices that are telling stories better + telling better stories.
- Equip – We help storytellers build the capacity for ethical, nuanced, and balanced storytelling.
- Amplify – We connect and foster collaboration among storytellers who change narratives.
- Monitor – We mobilise an army of narrative watchdogs who recognize and flag bad reporting + highlight good reporting.
- Campaign – We advocate for Better Representation through campaigns and our hashtags #ISeeMe, #ISeeMeNot and #BetterRepresentation.