Empowering underrepresented voices.

Meeting Superman

in the Laundromat

Saving Bees

One Coffee at a time

Down to the Sea

In Ships

Real Lives is an internationally accredited non profit organization established to discover, train and transmit cultural voices that promote global diversity, cultural heritage, planetary sustainability and human respect on a personal level

Local Heroes

Artists, artisans and visionaries living life their way while impacting the lives they touch.

Culture Shock

What better way to strengthen cultural diversity than to express oneself differently?

For a Future

Adding voices to the ongoing debate in diversity, development, politics or climate change.

The Truth was a mirror in the hands of God. It fell and broke into pieces. Everybody took a piece, and they looked at it and thought they had the whole truth.

mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi

OUR WORK

“We work around the world to protect cultural heritage, build links between communities, raise awareness of pressing risks, and transmit traditional knowledge to future generations.” Sophie Beer, co-founder

Our projects are tools to promote a model of society that is based on respect for cultural diversity, biodiversity and local traditions; is in harmony with the environment; offers gratification both in quality of life and work; and aims to transmit this heritage to future generations.

It is a principle of Real Lives that funding be used exclusively for projects and the communities they serve. Therefore, the Association maintains a permanent team comprised of only the two co-Founders, Sophie Beer and Mark Abouzeid. They are supported by a network of partners, collaborators, volunteers, interns and members.

Witnessing

We all need a witness to our lives and to our efforts. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things, all of it, all of the time, every day. Especially in this time of extreme crisis, we are saying, “Your life will not go unnoticed because we will notice it. Your life will not go unwitnessed because we will be your witness. Your knowledge will not be lost because we will learn from it and carry it into the future.”

paraphrased from Susan Sarandon in “Shall We Dance”

Training

Communication and media are the keys to raising awareness, sharing knowledge and supporting a broader debate on indigenous knowledge, culture and values. Underrepresented communities need to be trained in contemporary indie filmmaking techniques in order to tell stories about their world in their own way. Working with small sustainable equipment, low budgets, limited resources and a hands-on mentality, indie filmmaking lends itself to empower young voices, fostering their creativity.

Real Lives Voces Indigenas Project, Iquitos (Peru)

Transmitting

Elders are books for the young, but children need stories that reflect their own experience and cultural identity, foremost. Seeing their identities mirrored in films/video can foster positive social identity development in teens by increasing their pride, confidence and healthy self-esteem, and recognizing traits of the dominant culture, their home culture and other cultures (Identity). Viewing a film as a window allows young and old to explore the lives of others, building empathy and understanding while examining diversity in social, cultural, political and historical contexts (Diversity).

Mark Abouzeid on Living Books

Connecting

As a member supported organisation comprised of artists, change catalysts, traditional artisans, unrepresented communities and culturally curious individuals; Real Lives has become a hub for developing new collaborations in the arts and sustainable development. Many of our members start as subjects and become partners.

Sophie Beer, Director of Real Lives Multicultural Association