Reasons to be Cheerful, the solutions-based online magazine founded by David Byrne, has announced We Are Not Divided, a six-week collaborative journalistic exploration of our capacity to overcome division.
We Are Not Divided tells the stories of places and institutions that are succeeding in overcoming division. The multimedia series brings together dozens of written features, infographics, video content and other powerful interactive storytelling to infuse the public dialogue with a perspective that highlights the human capacity for finding ways to move toward each other. We Are Not Divided will also feature a collection of original illustrations hand-drawn by Byrne. The project launches today and will run through November 2.
“This series is hopeful at a time when that is in short supply,” stated David Byrne. “I realize the title might come as a shock. Not divided? Are you kidding me? What world are you living in? I am more than a little aware of what’s happening, but the truth is there is evidence that we can find ways to come together –– I have to believe that or I would sink into despair. Luckily, there are people and initiatives out there that we can look to for inspiration, and boy do we need it.”
We Are Not Divided will feature reported stories from around the world, from the U.S. to Singapore to Botswana to Canada to Ireland. Topics will include a British Columbian city that toppled a statue in a way that led to reconciliation rather than acrimony; a community of Congolese refugees in New York who used theater to end the tribal strife that had followed them to their new home; how Ireland’s unusual model of having citizens advise the government led to a lasting friendship between a conservative postal worker and a gay IT manager who helped change the fate of Ireland’s gay marriage law; a “pro-voice” non-profit offering non-partisan abortion services to everyone from California feminists to Bible Belt churchgoers; and many more.
Reasons to be Cheerful is a solutions-based online magazine covering health, culture, science and technology, climate and energy, economics, urban issues and civic engagement. It was founded by artist and musician David Byrne, who believes in the power of approaching the world with curiosity—in art, in music, in collaboration and in life. Through rigorously reported stories of progress and solutions, Reasons to be Cheerfulaims to inspire curiosity about how the world can be better, and to ask ourselves how we can be part of that change. Originally started by Byrne as a sort of self-therapy project, Reasons to be Cheerful is the first project of the not-for-profit organization Arbutus, which he created to bring the exciting work of others to light via novel and innovative presentation to inspire and educate.