Project: Identities of the World
We are incredibly proud to launch our newest project, Identities of the World, in partnership with Experian, today.
When we finished working on The Identities Project and The ID Question last year, Experian reached out to us, via the brilliant John Willshire and Mark Earls, to explore expanding on some of the themes we'd touched on. The topic of identity is very complex, and it is changing rapidly with the advances of technology. In a country like India, for example, with the world's largest biometric programme Aadhaar underway, proving who you are, and how that identity relates to various papers, mobile numbers and bank accounts, can mean that reasons like 'insufficient data' can mean people's lives come to a standstill, or become significantly disadvantaged, at worst. Identity as a subject fits Storythings' passion to delve into complex storytelling issues perfectly.
We discussed with Experian ways of talking about this subject that focussed particularly on the link between financial inclusion and identity: how the lack of (or proximity) to access to credit can make or break lives, how people are finding their own solutions to building their identities, how the system works in reality and how it can be better.
We commissioned three brilliant journalists in India to find some of these stories, by speaking to people who live through being financially excluded in some way or another. Today we are releasing the first of these stories. We hope it makes you think - and don't forget to come back and read the rest, including a short animated video summarising what our protagonists face in these stories.
Our first story is by journalist Shalini Singh. Shalini was a Nieman Foundation Fellow at Harvard University in 2018, is a regular contributor to the People’s Archive of Rural India (PARI) and a founding trustee of CounterMedia Trust, the nonprofit that owns PARI. You can find her on Twitter here.
Our second story is by Jency Samuel, a journalist based in Chennai.
Our third story is by Priyanka Borpujari. Priyanka was a Fulbright Program Fellow in 2016, walked on National Geographic’s Out of Eden Walk in India with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Paul Salopek in 2018, and has won fellowships from the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Bosch Stiftung Foundation.
The stories were edited by Duncan Geere.
We're incredibly proud to have the opportunity to work with Experian on this, and we hope you learn as much from the stories as we have!