An anonymous pirate radio DJ in Nairobi, ‘electro-modern’ remixes in Costa Rica, slum kids with cameras in Argentina and miraculous videos from the streets of San Francisco; this week’s #CultureFutures collection is an audiovisual treat.

Over the past few months we’ve been digging deep into the joyful world of virtual reality, comic book artists, filmmakers, photographers, illustrators, curators and collectives who help build a better, and more imaginative, world – in all its technicoloured glory.

This fierce Future 5 shows fashion and media can be forces for good… mic drop.


⚡ 1.  The pirate station that proves we can all be heroes

“The fuel for identity is storytelling”

An anonymous pirate radio DJ is sharing positive ideas, encouraging young East Africans to take action to improve their lives – and it’s working. Operated by 19-year-old DJ Boyie out of his bedroom in the Nairobi outskirts, Shujaaz.FM is so stealthy an operation that not even his own ‘mother’ knows what he’s up to. But, since taking to the air in 2010, his daily show has evolved into a virtuous circle engaging East African youth. This is Well Told Story.

“My show is a daily callout to young people to step it up, to take action, to improve their lives and share good ideas that can make everything better for everyone.”


⚡ 2. Ethical fashion brand empowers women

“Women are amazing”

Creating opportunities for women is exactly what Raven + Lily is all about. A flagbearer for gender equality and female empowerment, the ethical fashion company works with marginalised women from economically-challenged regions, to alleviate poverty whilst simultaneously supporting sustainable fashion.

“In the Western world, we have a choice. We can choose to spend our money on things that have a negative or positive impact and the reality is that fashion is having a negative impact. Fashion can be used as a force for good.”


⚡ 3. Costa Rican culture: the remix

Indigenous songs meet synths and guitars

One face forward, another facing back: you’re looking at Jirondai, the legendary shaman with two faces. He gives his name to the Jirondai Project, which records and remixes entrancing ancestral sounds with an ‘electro-modern’ twist – to carry Costa Rican cultural heritage into the future. It isn’t only about protecting future cultural diversity, but about ecological biodiversity.

“There is a relation between cultural diversity and biological diversity. Usually the first nations to inhabit a territory develop rules to behave with their motherland, rules to preserve and keep balance, rules that come from their spiritual beliefs and have an impact on the way they see the planet as a living thing.”


⚡ 4.  Kids with cameras in Argentina’s slums

“We experience tons of joy every time the photos are exhibited”

In Argentina, the term villa miseria is used to describe the impoverished shanty towns that exist within large urban settlements. Photography workshop PH15 helps at-risk youth in some of Argentina’s most notorious slums.

“We believe that culture, art and creativity are fundamental tools to improve our future. Photography and art serves as a way to break barriers, prejudices and discrimination.”


⚡ 5.  Videos reunite the homeless with loved ones

From homeless to hopeful

A walk along Market Street in San Francisco inspired social entrepreneur and sociologist Kevin Adler to create Miracle Messages – to reconcile homeless people with their families through short video messages which are shared on social media.

“I believe that a cultural shift – of seeing people experiencing homelessness not as problems to be solved but as people to be loved – will help us end this human rights crisis on our sidewalks. The role of creativity in shaping culture is to reimagine what is possible, and bring forth new ways of thinking that can change the world.”


#CultureFutures. is a collaboration with Goldsmiths Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship and the British Council Creative Economy. Feel the joy and want to take part?

Link to our Twitter and Facebook using #CultureFutures 

► Sign up to AtlasNews to get a first look at new projects

► Submit a #CultureFutures project