An activist project initiated by Aparna Gopan S
"We, the Beasts” is an emerging investigative media. Our aim is to investigate specific social problems and highlight working solution models to the same. We will identify innovative solutions to social challenges and bring them to the limelight along with investigative reports on the prevalence of these issues. We work towards documenting changes at micro levels as we believe it to be the way towards sustainable change and inclusive development of grass root communities. We wish to capture human narratives by living with identified communities who are facing various social issues. This way, we will be able to tell a subjective yet factual story from the community’s perspective. Later, we will form a mobility track by identifying communities facing the same challenges and take our news to the streets and share it with those affected. We believe this will provoke people to create sustainable solutions from within.
“We, the Beasts” wants to highlight solutions to burning social problems. These problems will be everyday problems. Most of the times we do not talk about them because we are made to believe that news have to be sensational. Well does it? Here we are saying “no”. “We, the Beasts” bite where the silence is, where silence hurts the most!
All Age Groups
I remember being part of a student movement which started with 149 people. As we were challenging policy makers inside the office, hundreds of stakeholders gathered around the building expressing solidarity for our cause, ready to fight on our behalf. Journalists were waiting outside the locked gates to write about us. But the authorities threatened to jail us and by noon the crowd had dwindled to just one - myself. I was defeated by the silence of the people around me and was devastated at being blamed for putting everybody’s life in danger. I could not find any news about how the movement was hijacked in the media which got interviews from us. At the end of the day, I was left alone to stage the mass “hunger strike” we had planned. I want to put an end to this culture of “forced silence” and empower every individual to take life into one’s own hands and dismantle this culture of silence.
“We, the Beasts” is an emerging investigative media group of experts, volunteers and social change-makers who want to talk about social movements and sustainable solutions to social challenges. We are countering the trend of “sensational news”. We investigate specific social problems and highlight solutions and examples of working models to burning social problems. We identify innovative solutions to social challenges and bring them to the general public. Our aim is to document changes at micro levels as we believe this is the best way to tackle social challenges in a sustainable way and create inclusive communities for every individual. Hence we wish to capture human narratives by living with identified communities which are facing various kinds of social challenges.
Initially, over 90 kanthari graduates who are successfully running their social organizations will be directly served by this project. Once the project is being documented, for example, in the case of our first project in Odisha with An-anya the beneficiaries of the organization will be impacted by our project. An-anya is working in Betonati Block of Mayurbhanj District, Nilagiri block of Balasore district, Baliguda and Phulbani subdivision of Kandhamal district in Odisha state. Covering 1970 households, 17 Children's Club (17 Girls Club and 17 Boys Club) and 8 Children's Development Centers.
In the next year, we have plans with 2 social change-makers from kanthari. After the completion and distribution of the 1st project in Odisha, the 2nd project will begin with Miss. Amrita Gyawali. Her project is “Embrace the Change” and she works to improve the lives of people living in wheelchairs in Nepal. This will last from July until November 2017. A mobile video news initiative “News-on-the-move” which documents news from the street as short video clips, will be regularly updated on our website. A custom news search engine for “Least Read News” will be made for countering the trend of “sensational news”.
Mainstream media culture is more concerned about “sensational news” that they often forget the everyday problems and challenges in the society. We are missing important human stories and conversations, for example you would not be able to find a story about John Mwangi Ndungu from Kenya who produces organic food despite the pressure of using GMO seeds, or about Amrita Gyawali from Nepal who is fighting for a better livelihood of people with disabilities, or Parthasarathy from India who advocates for the rights of sexual minorities. Our society is full of everyday challenges and everyday heroes heroines. These stories have the power to transform, to provoke, and to start a revolution. We want to break-down the silence and ‘bite’ the mainstream media with everyday human stories.