Your Social Stratosphere Roundup: 12 Folks in the Arts Space You Should Know About (Part 1)

Your Social Stratosphere Roundup: 12 Folks in the Arts Space You Should Know About (Part 1)



Subscription boxes and mystery boxes have been catching on in recent years. Be it fashion, food, hobbies or simply buying a unique gift for someone, these boxes have become an innovative and convenient way for items to be selected and delivered straight to one’s doorstep. But Sonder Social is not your typical subscription box service: focusing on fair trade and sustainability, and targeting the conscious consumer, it’s positioned itself as a common platform for other social enterprises to promote their products. Founded by three young Singaporean entrepreneurs, Syafiqah Omar, Sing-Suen Soon and Azi Fuad, this ethical subscription box service curates and delivers socially impactful products so you don’t have to trawl through endless Google searches for good intent, ethical brands. (Photo by Plush Design Studio via Unsplash)  



In response to the exponentially increasing air pollution in India, Graviky Labs is harnessing the potential of pollutants themselves. The Singapore-based start-up uses their self-developed KAALINK technology to capture up to 95 per cent of post-tailpipe carbon emissions and pollutants, and recycles these into AIR-INK, a more sustainable form of ink that does not require the burning of extra fossil fuels to make. According to their website, Graviky Labs has helped clean over 1.6 trillion litres of air to date. (Photo by Varshesh Joshi via Unsplash)  



Being a mainstay non-profit in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Majal champions freedom of expression and social justice. In 2010, it founded MidEast Tunes , a platform for regional artistes to promote constructive discourse through their music, and to introduce their works to an international audience. The Mideast Tunes catalogue spans the genres of pop, rock, jazz and folk, and musicians hail from countries such as Palestine and Yemen. It is available online and as an app for iOS and Android. (Photo by Malte Wingen via Unsplash)  



Believing that age or medical condition should not prevent one from making and enjoying music, Michelle Lee founded I’m Soul Inc to bring the healing power of music to the elderly and those stricken with illness. Doing away with the barriers in learning and playing traditional instruments, I’m Soul Inc uses intuitive and easy-to-navigate technology and devices that allow even sufferers of Parkinson’s disease, arthritis and stroke to create music. Through her enterprise, Ms Lee hopes that seniors and those with existing medical conditions can reap the full physical and emotional benefits of making and listening to music. (Photo by Lukas Budimaier via Unsplash)  



Vietnamese architect Vo Trong Nghia isn’t just tackling urban problems in Asian cities; he’s also returning green spaces to heavily populated areas. Through his designs, he seeks to connect humans with nature, as well as resolve the conflict between urban population density (and their exacerbated living conditions), and climate issues. His notable projects include the Bamboo House in Ho Chi Minh City, where he integrates bamboo plants into the covering of city residences. Not only does the bamboo add to the homes’ aesthetic appeal, it also shields them from sunlight and rain, and affords privacy to their residents. For more of his works, which look to offer quality living in urban areas through a direct connection between design, humans and nature, visit his website. (Photo by Doug Ouverson via Unsplash)  



Bulgarian-born Luba Lukova is an American visual artist known for her poster designs. A believer that art is central to the human existence, her works touch on themes such as social justice, healthcare, war and peace, and poverty. Her art has won international acclaim and is displayed in galleries across the world, including the Hong Kong Heritage Museum, the World Bank, DDD Gallery in Osaka Japan and UNESCO. Stylistically, her pieces have been compared to those of the German Expressionists, Escher and Picasso, and she is well known for her Social Justice 2008 series of posters. (Photo by Chris Slupski on Unsplash)  



Over a decade ago, Addisu Demissie and Junaid Jemal Sendi were only two young street peddlers from Ethiopia, working hard to support their families. But thanks to the opportunity they received from Dance United and Ethiopian Gemini Trust to learn dance professionally, they’ve been using dance as a vehicle to uplift their communities. The duo now runs DESTINO Dance Company , which not only promotes contemporary Ethiopian dance and culture, but also empowers young Ethiopians to channel their energy and time in constructive ways, and improve their chances in society. With dancers comprising underprivileged youth (orphans, offenders, those with disabilities), DESTINO stages regular performances and dance festivals, hoping to inspire their community through dance. (Photo by David Hofmann via Unsplash)  



In Zambia, where there is no film school, and where filmmakers are few and far between, Jessie Chisi stands out as a remarkable exception. The young filmmaker directed and produced Between Rings, a documentary about her cousin Esther Phiri, who overcame poverty to become a Zambian professional boxing champion. Herself a social entrepreneur and advocate for women empowerment and film, Chisi also founded the Zambia Short Film Festival and Young Cinema in Zambia, to train and encourage rising talents and budding filmmakers. (Photo by Jakob Owens via Unsplash)  



Singapore isn’t the cold, concrete jungle some believe it to be—not if Social Creatives has their way. Founded by Faris Basharahil and aided by a team of local and international artists, this social enterprise partners with companies as well as individuals—including people with disabilities, ex-offenders, expatriates and migrant workers—on creative community projects ranging from painting dustbins and public murals, to revamping one-room flats and HDB void decks. By exposing art to the masses, Social Creatives hopes to cultivate an increasingly vibrant Singapore, while spreading the message of inclusivity. (Photo by Brett Sayles via Pexels)  



Ever heard the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Alchemist Creations invites us to reconsider the old adage, showing instead that all trash can be treasures. Founded by three young designers from Hong Kong, Ching Yin Kat Ling, Tien Sum Samuel Siu and Chun Kin Kenneth Ho, this socially conscious corporation upcycles everyday garbage like soda cans into innovative design accessories such as watches and earrings. They additionally provide job opportunities to underprivileged groups, including them in their handcrafted productions, offering them a safe work environment and steady income, and equipping them with the necessary skill to be reintegrated back into the workforce. (Photo by Gary Chan via Unsplash)



In 2002, Mark Johnson and Whitney Kroenke took their recording equipment and hit the streets of America in search of inspiration. Playing For Change was subsequently born as a movement to document and capture the voices of international street musicians and the power of street music. Looking to use the common language of music to break down social barriers and bridge communities and cultures, Johnson and Kroenke have released albums, conducted tours and even gone on to build music and art schools for children all over the world. (Photo by Sofía Marvizón via Unsplash)  



Rarely would one find “wall hangings” and “temperature graphs” in the same sentence. But that’s about to change, thanks to the Tempestry Project . Now you can commission textile art that educates you about climate data while beautifying your home. There’s a science to it too: each colour stands for a temperature, and each line represents the daily high in a particular location. With 356 lines, your “tempestry” reveals the entire year’s changing seasons. According to co-founder Emily McNeil, these pieces should not be examined individually but side by side, so one can chart changing temperatures over a period of years. With this tactile and interactive way of presenting climate change, McNeil hopes to spark more conversations about what’s happening around us. (Photo by Rebecca Grant via Unsplash)  

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