Video: How Societies Work – a Look at Unconventional Arrangements

The VJ Movement has partnered with the London School of Economics to bring us videos and stories that attempt to show how societies in conflict and crisis-affected areas across the globe are facing their futures.

In places such as Afghanistan or Zimbabwe, despite the apparent lack of clear structures of governance, “things” still seem to get done. This happens in large part thanks to all sorts of local customs, new-found practices and intricate deals made between groups in power. Understanding these everyday arrangement is key to knowing what kind of policies can help to improve the lives of those living in these countries affected by conflict and crisis.

From Latin American countries dealing with the murders of journalists, to indigenous people struggling to defend their territories, to women from East Asia defending their right to be mothers and to work, the subtitled videos cover a wide range of topics and all provide a look into the problems and issues faced by the communities, and the steps they've been taking to overcome them. Here is a sample of the type of stories featured in their project

In Philippines, government run programs train women to become better domestic workers, assuming and accepting the fact that most of the national income is brought in by migrant workers. In this video story, a young woman, Mia, travels to a training center where she learns how to use appliances and clean houses with equipment that is far from what she would use to clean her own house. All this, in the hope of going overseas and being able to bring in enough money to help her family back home.

Disabled women in Thailand face prejudices and obstacles from a society which deems them unfit to be mothers, judging and shaming them while excluding them from mobility in a city full of staircases and crumbling pathways.  This video shares their stories and the message they would like to send out to their society.

This video challenges common preconceptions on indigenous people with an example from Peru:

70 families from the ethnic Group Shipibo conibo, moved from Pucallpa (near the border with Brazil) to look for a brighter future in the Capital City of Lima.

Despite the backlash from some anthropologists saying they should return to their Amazonian lands and defend the forest, they are determined to make their way in this new community where without losing their roots – their children go to bilingual Shipibo-Spanish schools – they are looking for progress and advancement with better opportunities for income, education and health.

In Karachi, Pakistan, a former schoolteacher took it on herself to start a free school for those children who could not access the free education programs the government provides. With funds raised in the USA during half of the year and her own personal funds, Rafat Ishaq gives these students a shot in life their parents possibly never dreamed for them.

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