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The Global Lives Project: A Platform for Building Empathy & Connection (RSVP Berkman Klein Luncheon Series)

Pictured Above: Founder & Executive Producer David Evan Harris and Video Production Lead Naomi Ture 


David Evan Harris, Global Lives Project Founder, will speak about the evolution of the project, and its ambitious goal of connecting the diverse experiences of humanity around the globe, and building empathy. RSVP required to attend in person.

Event Details: 

Harvard Law School campus
Wasserstein Hall, Milstein West A
(Room 2019, Second Floor)
Event will be live webcast on this page at 12:00 pm

About the Project 

The Global Lives Project presents 24-hour-long videos of daily lives of individuals from around the world both online and through in-person exhibits. This 15-year project is an online and real-world collaboration between thousands of filmmakers, photographers, translators and everyday people from around the world.

The project’s latest exhibit, Lives in Transit, showcases unedited footage of the daily lives of transportation workers from around the world, including Vietnam, Nepal, Turkey, China, India, South Korea, Colombia, Spain and Canada. The exhibit premiered at Lincoln Center for the New York Film Festival, and previously showed at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the CITRIS Tech Museum, and will show later this year at the Smithsonian.

About David

David Evan Harris is Founder and Executive Director of the Global Lives Project, Chancellor’s Public Scholar at UC Berkeley, and Research Director at the Institute for the Future. David is a cross-disciplinary mediamaker, working at the intersection of art, activism and academic inquiry on the politically charged questions surrounding globalization and social justice.

David wrote and directed newscasts for CurrentTV; and penned articles and shot photos for the BBC, the Guardian, Adbusters, Focus on the Global South, AlterNet, and Grist. He has spoken publicly about his work to audiences at the Smithsonian, UC Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, United Nations University, Apple, Google, Adobe, and numerous other venues around the world. He speaks English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. David founded the Global Lives Project in 2004 and holds a BA in the political economy of development and environment, with a minor in forest science, from UC Berkeley and an MS in sociology from the University of São Paulo.


The exhibit is on display at the Harvard Science Center through March 2018.

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Global Lives Project Talk at the Berkeley Arts Museum and Pacific Film Archive

The Global Lives Project is a collaborative film production and exhibition program intended to build a video library of life experience. In this event, Global Lives founder David Evan Harris, filmmakers Naomi Ture and Daniel Chein, and webmaster Benn “Shishin Junsei” Meyers present clips and offer their perspectives on the project at the Berkeley Arts Museum and Pacific Film Archive. A Q&A session and refreshments follow.

For more information about this event, click here.

Check out a trailer for the Lives in Transit Series here:

David Evan Harris, chancellor’s public scholar at UC Berkeley and research director at the Institute for the Future, founded the Global Lives Project in 2004. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian, United Nations University, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, and dozens of other venues around the world. Harris’s research and teaching focus on topics including art, activism, inequality, and media.

Naomi Ture is a filmmaker, creative director, and media producer who seeks to empower global connections. She has created film and media projects for Warner Brothers, NBC, Global Lives Project, the Exploratorium, and numerous tech and mission-driven organizations.

Daniel Chein is an Oakland-based filmmaker and a recipient of the Princess Grace Film Award. His most recent film, Basha Man, won the Student Film Award at CAAMFest2017. Daniel is an associate producer at Walking Iris Media, and is currently completing his MFA in cinema at San Francisco State University.

Shishin Junsei, né Benjamin Meyers, has been a web developer since 2005, and has been focusing recently on empathetic endeavors both in his work online and as a Buddhist priest.

On October 4, the Global Lives Project launched a campus-wide, site-specific video installation which will evolve over the course of the 2017-18 school year. The exhibit will showcase 24 hours in the daily life of 20 people from 17 countries around the world. Exhibit locations include the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, CITRIS Tech Museum (Sutardja Dai Hall), the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, and the Haas School of Business.  Exhibition dates for each location follow below:
• CITRIS and the Banatao Institute: October 4, 2017 through May 31, 2018
• BAMPFA: October 24 through December 29, 2017
• Hearst Museum of Anthropology: October 24, 2017 through January 31, 2018
• Haas School of Business: Spring/Summer 2018 (Dates TBA)

This exhibit is supported by the CITRIS Connected Communities Initiative, the David Eckles Fund for Diversity and Social Impact, the Haas School of Business’ Center for Social Sector Leadership, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Adobe Foundation.

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Global Lives Exhibit at New York Film Festival – Lincoln Center

From the New York Film Festival pamphlet:

The San Francisco–based Global Lives Project produces long-form documentaries that capture the rich diversity of human experience and engender cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. Each 24-hour film provides a window onto a single day in the life of its subject. This latest iteration of the project, Lives in Transit, focuses on ten individuals who in their own ways are responsible for moving people and products throughout the world. Presented as a large-scale video installation, Lives in Transit is more than an exploration of ten unique people—it is a dynamic ground-level examination of our hyper-connected world.

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Global Lives Project is coming to San Francisco State University!

Global Lives Project is Proud to announce a new collaboration! We will be presenting 20 videos from 17 countries over the course of three weeks at the Cesar Chavez Student Center Art Gallery at San Francisco State University. 

Our films feature 24 hours of unedited footage of the day in the life of people from countries such as Brazil, Malawi, Colombia, Korea, Nepal, Indonesia, Spain and more! 

Be sure to join us for our exhibit’s opening reception on Thursday October 23 from 5-8PM.  Come celebrate Global Lives, have some delicious food, raise a glass and hear Executive Director, David Evan Harris, speak about the making of Global Lives! 

cesar chavez art gallery photo 

Find out more on Global Lives Facebook Page.

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Global Lives is coming to the Media Arts Center @ Palo Alto High School!


Come join the Global Lives Project to celebrate the grand opening of the Media Arts Center at Palo Alto High School on October 17. We will be featuring the lives of seventeen people on twenty screens throughout the media center, running continuously for 24 hours. Come view never before seen footage from our latest collection called Lives in Transit. Come out for an evening of food, drink and film and learn about Global Lives’ latest projects! Like us on our Facebook page See you on October 17!

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Global Lives and OneBeatSF Event @ Public Works on October 15!

We are happy to announce it’s time for another amazing Global Wednesday event! On 10/15 at Public Works, we are teaming with Found Sound Nation to present OneBeatSF: a unique music-media event. This collaboration will feature live performances by artists and musicians from around the globe, DJ sets, and Global Lives Project video installations of never before seen Lives in Transit footage.

$10 Donation at the door, cash bar and dancing! Come out and party for a great cause!
Spread the word and RSVP on Facebook.


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On the Future of Language with Global Lives and Long Now

“The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for.” — Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

On the Future of Language with Long Now and Global Lives

Experts estimate that a language disappears every 14 days. At this rate, 90 percent of the world’s languages will no longer be spoken by the end of this century, and over 7000 languages will have fallen silent and with them vast knowledge and rich cultural heritage will be lost.

Linguistic diversity and biodiversity are closely linked and both are declining at unprecedented rates. Increased awareness of the problem has led to new efforts to document and preserve these languages and cultures.  David Evan Harris (Executive Director of Global Lives) and Long Now Foundation’s Dr. Laura Welcher (Director of the Rosetta Project) present a special program about Endangered Languages with very special guest Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS, University of London) for this Interval salon talk:


July 22, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm – On the Future of Language with Long Now and Global Lives

Special guest Mandana Seyfeddinipur, one of the foremost experts working to save endangered languages in her role at the The Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project at the SOAS, University of London, joins Long Now’s Laura Welcher and Global Lives’ David Evan Harris to talk about the importance of documenting and sustaining these languages and how the Global Lives / Global Voices project hopes to be part of the effort.

Get your tickets here


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Seeing Asia {Global Wednesday} FREE happy hour, music & panel

How do we see Asia? Join us for an exploration of the ways in which film and media shape our understanding of Asia and Asian culture, both in the US and globally. A panel discussion will feature leading journalists and filmmakers who bring their diverse perspectives to this complex topic. This event is a collaboration of the Asia Society Northern California Young Professional’s Group and the Global Lives Project.

The panel will be presented against the backdrop of a Global Lives Project 12-screen video installation featuring video of daily life in Kazakhstan, Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, South Korea, Vietnam, Nepal and Turkey. Complete the experience with pop-up asian cuisine for dinner, cash bar and live music.

5:00 to 6:30pm – Happy hour & live Balinese Flute performance by Ken Worthy on Suling

6:30 to 7:30pm – Panel Discussion

7:00 to 9:00pm – Food, Music and Networking

This is a 21+ event. Drinks available for purchase at a cash bar.


Mary Kay Magistad, (moderator) former East Asia correspondent, The World
Masashi Niwano, Festival & Exhibitions Director, Center for Asian American Media

Naomi Ture, filmmaker, Global Lives Project

More panelists soon!


This event is part of Global Wednesdays, a Global Lives Project initiative designed to spark discussions about global citizenship, new media, and film education. Global Wednesdays are set against the backdrop of immersive, multi-screen video installations that showcase footage from the daily lives of individuals around the world.


Photos by David Harris (top: Folsom Street Foundry) & Antonius Riva Setiawan (bottom: Global Lives shoot in Sarimukti Village, Indonesia)
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SPECIAL SCREENING: Global Lives/Global Voices at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Via the National Museum of the American Indian

The Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices Program and Global Lives Project, has brought together an interdisciplinary group of anthropologists, linguists, archivists, and indigenous and non-indigenous filmmakers to explore the creation of a series of 24-hour films focused on endangered language communities around the world. The format of 24 continuous hours is based on the work of the Global Lives Project, which is building an open collection of video footage that features one day in the lives of individuals around the world. Global Lives films are developed in sets of ten around a particular theme, with participants selected to broadly represent current global demographics.

Join us in for an introduction to the Global Lives Project and a viewing of some short works by filmmakers invited to participate.

Global Lives: A Video Library of Life Experience
2014, 3 min.
United States, Documentary

The Global Lives Project is a video library of life experience, designed to cultivate empathy across cultures. We curate an ever-expanding collection of films that faithfully capture 24 continuous hours in the lives of individuals from around the world. We explore the diversity of human experience through the medium of video, and encourage discussion, reflection, and inquiry about the wide variety of cultures, ethnicities, languages, and religions on this planet. Our goal is to foster empathy and cross-cultural understanding.


Because of Who I Am
2011, 4 min.
United States, Documentary, Experimental
Director: Marcella Ernest (Ojibwe)

A San Francisco artist and skateboarder challenges stereotypes of Native women with her painting, and with her own childhood when she took up fancy dancing, a style generally reserved for men. Film still pictured above. Courtesy of the filmmaker.
El Reloj/The Watch
2013, 6 min.
United States/Mexico, Narrative Fiction
Director: Yolanda Cruz (Chatino)

Like every Sunday morning, a Zapotec grandfather comes to the city of Oaxaca to visit his granddaughter for a day. Their ritual consists of attending mass and window-shopping throughout the city, but on this particular Sunday, things take a different turn when they pass by a stand selling watches.

Finding Our Talk: Chitimacha
2009, 24 min.
Canada, Documentary
Director: Michelle Smith (Métis)
The Chitimacha Nation of Charenton, Louisiana partners with Rosetta Stone, a language learning software company, to create teaching aids for a language that has no fluent speakers. Piecing together the language from old, wax cylinder recordings, this 1,000 member strong community is relying on its determination and thriving cultural identity to awaken the Chitimacha language from its long slumber.

Additional work by filmmaker, Martin Maden.

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IFTF Gallery for the Future hosts Global Lives popup exhibit

Via Institute for the Future

RTEmagicC_galleryforthefuture_feature_sml.jpg The IFTF Gallery for the Future at 201 Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto presents the work of multi-disciplinary artists who engage with temporality through new media tools and creative approaches to design and aesthetic production. Our rotating exhibits will relate to the same futures themes that we approach through our research and labs. IFTF is thrilled to present our inaugural exhibit, a collection of video works by the Global Lives Project, produced from 2004 to 2014.

Artist’s Statement

Framed by the arc of the day and conveyed through the intimacy of video, we have slowly and faithfully captured 24 continuous hours in the lives of twenty people from around the world. They are screened here in their own right, but also in relation to one another.

There is no narrative other than that which is found in the composition of everyday life, no overt interpretations other than that which you may bring to it.

By extending the long take to a certain extreme and infusing it with the spirit of cinema verité, we invite audiences to confer close attention onto other worlds, and simultaneously reflect upon their own. The force and depth of human difference and similarity are revealed in this process. Gaps which mark cultural divides feel, at once, both wider and narrower. This sense—that we, as humans, are both knowable and unknowable, fundamentally different as well as the same—opens a space for dialogue.

Sometimes projects with the simplest premises are the most complicated to execute, and this can be said for Global Lives.

Hundreds of volunteers from around the world make up our collective. Some are filmmakers and photographers, others are programmers and engineers, some are architects and designers, others are students and scholars—all are everyday people in their own contexts; each has participated according to his or her own motivations. They have donated, quite literally, thousands of hours towards bringing this project into being. This installation offers us an opportunity to thank them, along with the generous communities that collaborated with us in each of these shoots.

This project is designed to remain a work-in-progress. Volunteers are subtitling all 480 hours of footage in their original languages and translating them into English and beyond. These videos for the basis of our online, participatory library of human life experience—the other major venue for our work. We continue to accept new footage for our expanding archive—fresh additions to an evolving visual conversation.

The Global Lives Collective, 2014


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