Bridging the Narratives
What We Do
We produce environmental awareness campaigns in a new way. By creating multi-media platforms for storytellers from all over the world, we address and call international attention to critical global issues.
We aim to break problematic news cycles by taking a positive focus that combats fear based environmental messaging, and ensures that regional and culturally diverse spokespeople are able to communicate with a global audience.
In our efforts to drive inclusive and dynamic conversations, we acknowledge the importance of race and identity politics in environmentalism. Since 2013 we have produced projects in film, photography, books and online education, partnering with storytellers from the lesser known, and less understood, parts of the world to whom the stories belong.
A new multi-media project 5 years in the making is looking to change the narrative.
Awareness, Education and Impact
Ideation and Research
We dedicate a lot of time to research during the ideation stages of our projects. In this process, we build on empathetic understanding and trust, which is too often overlooked when we consider the people affected most acutely by environmental changes, and campaigns to protect critical areas.
During this research phase we gather the knowledge that is needed to facilitate accurate representation, and to provide cultural sensitivity training to our team, both of which are driven by and for the people we work with.
Distribution of Funds
We do not just consider the active awareness we want our campaigns to raise - we also consider the economic impact they can have on communities that are involved in creating them.
During our research stages we get to know the stakeholders and key figures who are the representatives for the environments and the people we become engaged with.
Collectively we look at how our projects’ budgets can have positive effects on local economies, and determine how potential proceeds can be divided equally.
Mythology is a common denominator across all cultures, holding important lessons that anchor our societies to their cultural identities and surroundings. We aim to bridge cultures and emphasize our connected human experiences through mythology and art. In our process we carefully select tales by doing extensive on-the ground-research with creatives and experts on the selected region. By inviting artists new to the region, we hope to foster vibrant and playful collaborations that become authentic ways one can learn about the lesser known, and less understood, places of our planet.
Cultural sensitivity is at the forefront of how we work, and by spending significant amounts of time on site, we set out to establish relationships of trust from which this mutual, creative exchange can flourish.
We measure the entire impact of our initiatives, both on large and small scales.
Our campaigns seek to educate and unite. In order to do so we want to reach large audiences. Our communication strategies target people who would not regularly engage with environmental awareness campaigns. This way the impact of correcting negative cultural biases and stereotypes, and increasing a sense of care and urgency for our planet, will have more chance of success.
On this large scale, our projects have been received positively. We also measure local impact, which includes creating revenue distribution frameworks that invest in scalable cultural initiatives for our stakeholders. We support and monitor the development of these in every way we can.
To bridge important narratives we are always on the lookout for changemakers to support our ongoing missions.
Created by Tales of Us Published by Random House / Prestel, 2018 Photography: Pieter Henket
Story adaptations: S.R. Kovo N’Sondé, Wilfried N’Sondé Editors: Stefanie Plattner and Eva Vonk
Congo Tales – Photo Series
Congo Tales was our first project. We helped stage and photograph the mythologies of people from the Mbomo district of the Republic of Congo in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park, creating awareness of the Congo Rainforest in a new way.View More
The Little Fish and the Crocodile
The Little Fish and the Crocodile is a short film that tells a fable from the rainforest in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of Congo, as told by the children of the Sanza Mobimba Kindergarten.View More
Akesi and the Congo River
Akesi and the Congo River is an animated documentary series for children inspired by factual, fictional, and mythological narratives belonging to the Congolese people.View More
We created it to help teachers and students navigate the challenges of online learning after the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted brick-and-mortar education.View More
There are deeper stories to tell, and richer images to show, of people and the ecological wonderlands they call home than what we typically see in the media.
Events help us change these ways of thinking by sharing the wisdom, knowledge, experiences, and critical messages from these lesser known, and less understood, regions with the rest of the world.
Tales of Us began as an initiative to draw attention to the Congo Basin.
In 2013, project initiators Stefanie Plattner and Eva Vonk decided to work on an awareness campaign about the different forms of ecological conservation efforts in the Congo Basin, focusing on the Odzala-Kokoua area, which had for far too long been dominated by problematic news cycles and fear-based messaging.
What followed was three collaborative years of research, recording and photographing never-before documented mythologies in the Mbomo region. These years formed the basis of our unique collaborative impact production approach.
Today, Tales of Us is a global multi-media initiative that partners with storytellers from all over the world to combat fear-based environmental news, and break down negative cultural barriers.
The group of people below are a selection of our contributors, all of which have been paramount to the success of the outcomes of these efforts.
We look forward to seeing this list grow in the future of Tales of Us.
Managing Director & Producer
Executive Producer & Creative Director
Tainá Moreno de Oliveira Lagoeiro
Ani and Mouendet Ideme
Communication & Strategy
Literature Adaptation Support