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What Works: Critical Perspectives of Local Solutions for Issues of Global Relevance.

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Mindanao is wrought with violence between Al Qaeda-influenced Abu Sayaf and the Christian government military forces. Amidst the violence and wreckage of formerly destroyed schools, a school has been built and is flourishing where both Christian and Muslim children can to learn together in peace. Photo by Xyza Cruz Bacani.

While many of the projects we support through Magnum Foundation’s programming arise from the journalistic instinct to expose and interrogate social injustices, we believe that rigorous explorations of positive responses to social problems are equally essential. In this current climate of increased sectarian conflict and rampant xenophobia, it is imperative to point to instances of people coming together. Critical perspectives on what works locally, in communities around the world, offer points of access for tackling issues of global relevance.

Magnum Foundation’s new project What Works encourages documentary photographers to explore issues of intolerance through local examples of bridge-building amongst groups that might otherwise be in conflict. What Works is a collective effort by our network of regional photographers who have received training through our Photography and Human Rights Program. They have come together across program years and countries, hailing from Iran, Ukraine, Slovenia, Syria, India, Ecuador, China, and the Philippines. 

After attending a 10-day hands-on production lab at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in March, the Fellows are currently wrapping up their individual stories in the field and strategizing on both grassroots and traditional distribution of the work in their own communities and beyond. 

Some more about their developing project can be found on our website. We are eager to share the new thinking spurred through this collaboration.

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Scholarships are offered to Uyghur youth, the Muslim minority in China, to leave their homes in Xining Province to study with Han youth in Guangzhou at a soccer-focused school. Photo by By Yuyang Liu.

Katerina Voegtle