Are you a Creative? A Storyteller?
A Lover of Culture? Seeking Like-Minded Collaborators?
Agora seeks to nurture connection.
Agora is the first culture-sharing platform, which explores the deeply personal ways that people connect through culture. This free platform is intended as a place for people to gather + connect + create + share documentary art. Agora was founded as a digital creative community where people can collaborate to create and share meaningful content.
Don't be an influencer. Be an advocate.
Forget selfies. See others.
Collaborate. Connect cultures.
Channel someone's story.
Change the world.
Gather + Connect + Create + Share
Are you a storyteller? Are you someone who likes to photograph or videotape your travels, adventures, friends and family? Would you love to be a reporter on cultural themes? Would you like a platform to find like-minded people to collaborate with on creative projects? Would you like to get visibility for creative projects about culture? If yes to any of the above, join our community! Here's our submission guidelines.
Interested in a cross-cultural collaboration? By becoming a part of the Agora community, you can connect with others interested in documenting culture for purposes of inspiration and collaboration! If you've been looking for a way to partner with someone from a different culture on a joint creative endeavor, the Agora Community may be for you! Join us on Facebook!
We welcome submissions of a piece of documentary art to Agora. Formats include video shorts; digital print interviews; profiles; and photo essays. Your submission needs to feature someone’s experience of connection via culture, in the context of one of our three themes: Cultural Meaning; Belonging; and Cultural Expression. Check out some recent Agora projects!
Here's our submission guidelines.
Sharing is at the heart of Agora. Since its invention about 20 years ago, social media has fostered amazing individual self-expression and creativity. People love sharing where they've been, what they've done, and interesting content they've made or discovered. Our idea is to take that to the next level. We aim to be a global movement for people to turn their lens outward and share projects about the world's culture. We are building a community of cultural co-creators!
Be Part of a Movement to Take Social Media from Me to We
In today’s global world we are more connected than ever before...and yet, paradoxically, many of us often feel more alone, alienated, different, and less-than.
The human need to feel connected is unmistakably universal - even if we each experience it in a uniquely personal way. As instinctive as it is to want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, there is no one among us who hasn't at one point or another felt disconnected, unheard, and on the outside looking in.
COVID-19 has only exacerbated that sense of isolation and lack of purpose. Agora aims to be a global movement for people to come together, turn their lens outward and share projects about the world's culture. We are building a community of cultural co-creators who care about the world around us and want to foster greater understanding.
Agora is presented by People Are Culture (PAC), which celebrates our unique differences and our shared human condition. We are advocates of curiosity, listening, identification and respect. We believe everyone matters and we each have valuable life lessons to share.
We believe the best way to connect with anyone is to ask questions, to listen, to seek to identify and not compare.
Need for Connection
In ancient Greece, agora meant “the gathering place” and was the center of the athletic, artistic, business, spiritual and political life in the city.
The root of the word "culture" is the Latin "colere," which means to grow, cultivate and nurture.
As a way to increase our understanding of each other, Agora is a platform for exploring and sharing with others the situations, circumstances, interactions, and emotions that are part of our daily lives. With documentary art, Agora looks at how we transmit those experiences via day-to-day culture.
"Stories have the power to create social change and inspire community."
~Terry Tempest Williams
"If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive."
What is Agora All About?
By almost any definition, “culture” is a way of life.
Our focus is on making documentary art about ways culture is working in people’s lives. If we can present how people use their culture for richer lives, then perhaps we can help people find ways to navigate their own or other cultures in the most meaningful way.
There are many ways we connect via culture. In Agora, we focus on three:
Culture has been called “super organic” in that the same thing can mean different things to different people. For example, a tree is viewed differently to the botanist who studies it, the old woman who uses it for shade in the late summer afternoon, the farmer who picks its fruit, the motorist who collides with it and the young lovers who carve their initials in its trunk.
Create a piece of documentary art that explores someone’s experience in which two different cultural meanings intersected, and what happened.
By almost any definition, “culture” is a phenomenon that revolves around belonging. We belong to a culture because we share a language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, arts and other tangible and intangible ways of life.
Create a piece of documentary art that explores someone's powerful experience of belonging in their life. Where did it happen? When, why, how, and with whom? How did it feel?
Culture is a form of expression.
Create a piece of documentary art that explores someone’s experience of a particularly powerful cultural expression they witnessed, either within their own or another culture. What happened? Why did it move them? What did they learn?
Everyone Has an Untold Story
Many stories go untold because no one asked. Reach out to someone interesting and explain the Agora project. Ask them to tell you about a meaningful experience in their lives of one of these three ways culture is lived.
Document that conversation either with video, photography/text or in an interview. Go deep. Delve into the where, when, why, and with whom of their experience.
We can’t predict what you’ll hear and learn. But we are pretty sure it will be amazing!
We are looking for personal accounts that are thoughtful, authentic and from the heart. Your piece could be funny or poignant, shocking or anything in between...but it needs to be honest, insightful, empathetic and respectful.
We invite you to pitch us on your idea for a documentary art feature. Here's our submission guidelines.
"Stories we live and tell provide coherence and meaning and orient our sense of purpose."
~Sharon Daloz Parks
Be Part of the Agora Culture-Sharing Community
The creative process can often be more fun and enriching if it's a collaboration. It's meaningful to partner with like-minded people who care about the same issues and themes you do. And it's also fascinating to see how people from different parts of the world bring different perspectives to a conversation and project. There are always more than one way to look at anything. Standing in someone else's shoes is eye-opening, and can lead to profound awakenings, ideas and accomplishments!
If you've been looking for a way to partner with someone from a different culture on a joint creative endeavor, the Agora Community may be for you!
"We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories.
There isn’t a stronger connection between people than storytelling."
~Jimmy Neil Smith
Agora Welcomes Partnering with Educators and Life-Long Learners
Are you an educator? Looking for a fresh way to inspire curiosity, empathy and listening skills? Or seeking to help your students apply the hard skills you've taught them and get their work published?
Are you part of a senior community? Agora was founded by a senior. The platform honors the life experiences, perspective and wisdom of elders and offers inter-generational collaborations.
Are you a traveler who enjoys cultural immersions? Perhaps you'd like a "reason" to sit down with someone from your host destination and ask them to share their perspective on their culture with you in a piece of documentary art for Agora. The platform is intended to be a way to make and nurture lasting connections!
Agora offers an opportunity for learners of all ages to get out of themselves, expand their horizons, and dare to ask questions about someone else's livelihood, life and culture. Producing a piece of art or journalism is the icing on the cake!
Whether you teach high school history or social studies, or lead an M.A. program in journalism, tourism or anthropology, or are part of a senior community seeking a creative platform, or are a traveler who would like a way to connect with people you meet in your journeys, we'd love to work with you. Agora is a catalyst for growing self confidence, fostering open-mindedness and creating connections.
Let Us Help Your Story Be Heard!
For more information on participating in Agora or to submit a pitch, contact [email protected]
We are committed to helping your story be heard. If your piece is accepted for publication, we will promote it widely!