We are a newly founded open collective of artists and storytellers, of photographers, film makers and writers that travel the world.
If you would like to join the collective or have a story for us, you find more information below.
Fill out this form and send it along with a preview to hello @ livacollective . com.
We are looking forward to hearing from you!
This is a series of texts explaining more about the collective and the opportunities for you on the platform. We will discuss:
• What kind of art and stories we will publish
• How you will be able to contribute
• Our plans for physical works and installations
So, what is the Liva Collective?
The Liva Collective aspires to be a platform, community and outlet for artists of any medium to express a story. We intend to build an accessible space for anyone around the world to submit and publish work for free, becoming part of a worldwide collective of artists who collaborate both online and in physical events and installations. It is said that the act of storytelling is one of the most ancient art forms within human society, one whose accessibility is not limited by privilege.. but whose opportunities are. That’s where we’d like to put our foot in the door. We aspire for independent storytelling to have an uplifting space regardless of your name, financial background or origin of birth. Many of us will have felt the untouchable presence of faceless art platforms and journalism organisations, along with the frustration of just wanting to get your creations out there! Nostalgic poems, insightful photo stories, passionate canvas’s of manic brush strokes, circus performances telling the tales of fear and rage (you guys know who you are) – these expressions which tell a story, but have no way to reach a larger audience? Join us in building a space for anyone who has something to say. To be a new platform in a time where elite and commercial hands place boundaries on art. To swivel our hot-damn middle finger at that. As we build up the foundations of the platform, we also want to be a push in the movement for positive action in art. Art and documentary has a very powerful place in society, so we’d like to make that a big part of the collective. Our plans are to link small, community based charities who are doing great things, and present their story through our mediums. This gives people an opportunity to see a raw and genuine portrayal of charity and cause, without the shadow of heavy marketing. More information will come later on this – if that’s your jam, stay tuned!
How will we display the work?
Our idea is not just to make a generic blog-style platform; rather, we would like the space to be an interactive experience for the audience, which is why we want to display the content more like you would at an exhibition, which means.. creative freedom! We have some ambitious ideas indeed. We are still working on the logistics of how we receive and organise content with the artist, but our idea is to allow you to entirely tailor your content to any experience you want. Your dedicated post can look however you’d like it to be, and we can build that for you. For example, you may want a song in the background as you scroll through some photographs which shift in shape and size, finally getting to a paragraph of descriptive text.. fun times. No boundaries to a routine article layout, or a standard gallery grid. Perhaps you have a poem which is 3 sentences long and you want it to be hand drawn? Draw it for us, scan it in and we will re-adapt the file to look hand drawn as if the screen were your very own notebook. There will be options to view the art by medium, by country, and by theme. Therefore, the total experimental and interpretative element of the site can be tailored down to specific desires by the audience. Some may be looking for innovative stories on developing countries, whilst others may search for creative fine art pieces. As long as there is a story to be told or expressed, it has a place!
The next set of emails will go over some more details on entry specific information, our plans for the beta stage and some context into the name! In the meanwhile, have a think as to whether you would be interested in joining the collective, or if you know anyone who too would be interested. The beauty of the community is that it can work for you, within your own pace. There’ll be no deadlines or minimum number of entries. We won’t be a enforcement but an accessible collaborative – any time, anywhere. Whenever you create or develop something that may be relevant, its a space to show it instead of letting it hide in dusty corners of your hard drive..
Why ‘Liva’? What does it mean?!
Georjie travelled to Fiji as a photojournalist to cover the aftermath of Cyclone Winston in 2016. On assessing a heavily damaged village, she saw the word Liva (‘lee’-‘vah’) hand drawn over one of the few standing concrete walls. The sun was coming to rest above the peak of a shadowing mountain behind, and a golden light hazily bathed the wall. It was one of the purest moments for her where the mind state of art and journalism intertwined; where telling a story came from a place of creativity. Later, she found out the word ‘Liva’ means lightening – a perfect metaphor to describe the passion, frustration and desire for a change in the world of storytelling.
What can I submit?
We briefly touched upon this in the last email, but just to recap.. anything! Our idea is to have no limits on submission medium, and we hope to venture far outside the current boundaries of content portrayal online. On much research of current art and media journals, we found that somewhat similar platforms existed but were very specific on medium, and none that were an aspiring collective. We will also have no limits on the the amount of mediums you could submit within one art piece. Hybrids, for example, are our aim for the more experimental pieces we will publish. Music, words, photos, performance – you name it! Individually, they are powerful enough. But together, physically and digitally, it can create a whole new experience of story telling.
What are the specifications and rules for entries?
As mentioned before, we aspire to maintain ultimate freedom of expression and place no limits on the range of art on the platform. However, with art in storytelling and documentary, there does come significant responsibility. Much of the concept of Liva was born under the frustration of modern journalism, which Georjie and Ramin have both experienced first hand. Cultural representation and geographical portrayal has often been manipulated or disrespected by the media for political incentive; more ominously it’s evident how post-colonial narratives silently feed stereotypes and attitudes that divide people based on their religion, birth place and financial background. If you’re telling a story in a way that represents a culture or place, we strongly require this to be a dignified and consenting portrayal. Whilst we don’t want to limit your art by placing requirements on the time spent within a culture or country, we do ask that you make well researched and valid representations. For example, if you have a photoset that tells a story from a country you travelled to for a few weeks, make sure any cultural references (through any supporting text) or visual narratives (the story coming through the photo) are sincere and genuine. Assumptions suck, so if there are any kind of suggestions in your art piece, be confident that it is accurate! Of course this is much more relevant if your story/art piece is journalistic, however the values and approach can be applied to any form of expression – recognizing the influence of narratives in any form of media and art will be the start for more conscious representation. If you are interested in becoming a collaborator, or even just submitting one off pieces, we will send a guide and info sheet on some tips of how to ensure these values.
What is the collective element of the platform?
When Ramin and Georjie originally discussed creating Liva, the idea was to also have it as a way to connect a community of the creative people they’d met around the world. The simplest notion they’d discovered whilst travelling and meeting other artists was that despite financial, geographical or cultural backgrounds, people will always make art for the sake of art. It’s an incredible energy and has so much potential to be cultivated, but the opportunities aren’t there. Collaboration is exciting, almost always unique and inspiring – so this is why we want to house a collective of collaborators who wanted to become part of this project and help manifest this energy into a global and family-like base for any kind of storytellers. So we have two different ways you can be a part of the platform:
Collaborator – Is an active member of the collective; part of the team! This is an option for those who are interested in becoming part of the foundation of the project. We aspire for the platform to be an organic and experimental organisation, so the ways in which you could contribute as a collaborator are open and flexible. So far, our ideas are wide and exciting! As well as being able to contribute stories and art work when you can (there won’t be any strict time deadlines – don’t worry!) you could be involved with website design, creating and curating the stories we recieve, digital graphic design and physical design (i.e, posters), representation in your local city and area, finding other contributors and spreading the word, helping us run exhibitions, linking us with local charities, becoming involved in festivals – oh yes, this is big in our plans! The list goes on, and as the organisation evolves, so will the ways to become involved: we will be creating a way in which for us to all communicate, enabling a hub of ideas and shared feedback. Whilst we are still working on the logistics and organisation of creating the collective space, you will find out more – if this interests you, drop georjie an email and just let her know you’d like to know more email@example.com
The fun times of being a collaborator: As well as being a part of a strangely fabulous and global artist community, we would also like for these efforts to help you with your art progression. We will develop a part of the website where you can explore the work from the members of the collective and have your own dedicated page with your art pieces – which we can design to fit your style. This, in turn, will also work like a portfolio to show potential organisations, clients, collaborators, aliens and anything else under the sun your work and involvement in the platform – yay! We also hope to create events and meet ups for the collective to blow our brains out on artsy goodness.
Contributor – Our absolute core value is to repell the elite establishment of art platforms. We hate it. It sucks. Therefore we want to offer the freedom of making one off, low commitment submissions from anyone, anywhere, any time! Apart from meeting specifications in the entry requirements talked about above, you can submit stories you have any time you like. We may work a little with you to establish and define your work, or on the way you’d like it to look on the website, but other than that you can be involved as little or as much as you’d like. We will also have the option to contribute anonymously!
Media and creative content within aid, relief and non-profit cause has long been shadowed with distrust. Within developing countries, it is burdened by imperialistic narratives, over-saturation and reliance on stereotypes. Community causes and social development frequently uses media as a promotion for ‘voluntourism’, feeding a commercial industry which often does not do enough to raise local economy or infrastructure for their beneficiaries. This sounds negative and overtly pessimistic, but unfortunately it really is common. However, that doesn’t mean we’re at loss for positive. Media and art, in all mediums, can have an absolutely profound impact for organisations when done right. Smaller, community based projects who are installing change and genuinely helping are habitually the cases which don’t see any public eye. It might be your local homeless shelter, or a small initiative to give low-income homes access to education – these are stories that matter and deserve a platform. And when provided, it can lead to amazing help and opportunities for those causes, and in the least it can raise awareness for whatever battle they face. Art as a medium for contribution is often dismissed, but we don’t. An example:
Baskets of Blessings is a small community charity based in Queenstown, New Zealand. It’s cause and direction for support is so honest and genuine, working by simply using compassion and kindness to impact others. Its model is a beautiful illustration of the simplicity in helping; total strangers band together to help an anonymous person in need, by sending them hand chosen ‘baskets of blessing’, to lift them up and support them in a time of need – to remind them that people care. Ethnicity, age, gender, religious background and social status are irrelevant. None of this matters! On receiving some help in documenting their cause and spreading the word, not only were they able to access more people in need, but it triggered more acts of kindness from local people to contribute, such as businesses and initiatives. Most people want to help but aren’t sure quite how; personalised, thoughtful art projects/presentations are an incredibly dynamic way to inspire further positive action! Therefore, on the premises of all mentioned, we want to incorporate an inventive segment of the collective which focuses on representing good causes through art and stories. A section of the website will be dedicated to this, and as we continue to build foundations we will look more into an infrastructure of how we can bring this into more than just online form. Any ideas, thoughts or invitations of help and collaboration on this project are highly welcomed, and if this interests you then email firstname.lastname@example.org or just keep your eyes peeled for more development as it manifests!
This organisation aspires to be organic, with no foreseeable boundaries. Though the concepts we’ve outlined will ultimately stay the same, our approach and infrastructure is likely to shift and shape as we encounter more ideas and innovations. We will continue to communicate with you on the beta stage of the platform, and keep you updated on what initiatives take place. If there is anything you’d like to ask or details you’re still not sure about then drop us an email (you can reply to this or message directly on Georjie’s email outlined earlier).
So, without further ado, we invite you to send us any content you have which tells a story and you would like published on Liva. Just to re-alliterate, this can be any medium (film, audio file, a poem via word file or a multi-medium project such as photos and paintings). If you have accompanying written word with any visual or audio files, such as a worded memoir with a photoset or a short story for a video, ideally we’d like to receive those in a word document (however if this doesn’t work for you then send it to us by email and we can use it from there)! You can send everything on one hit with https://transfer.pcloud.com (up to 5gb free)- there is the option to encrypt the files for privacy! Wetransfer.com works too for up to 2gb. After sending your content, we will then communicate with you on any more details we need.
To submit something you can download and fill out this form.
Alternatively write us in an email, please specify –
Your name: However you’d like to be represented
If you want to be anonymous, just write ‘anonymous’ or if you’d prefer to use an alternative name (alias) to stay private, write that down.
Title of art piece: This will be the name of your work that will appear on the website and for any future promotion. Creative freedom up to you!
Date created or time line of content: If you have a specific date your art piece was made, or dates over time, then we would like to know. We can use this to tailor content on the website and provides context for those viewing.
Description: Just a few words on what this art piece is about and whatever else you’d like to add. You can either write this here or in a more detailed word document – up to you.
Featured Image: The image that appears on the homepage as a thumbnail for your story. It is good to choose something that is interesting, mystical or something that makes clear what your story is about.
Post design: This is where you can give personal input into the way your content will look. If you have no preference or trust us to deliver this, we can take care of it. If you have specific ideas you can send us drawn sketches and write your ideas down. Here are some examples and tips:
- Black background with single photos down in a row, make ‘3.jpg’ full width and ‘5.jpg’ fade in.
- Photos 3-7 can be in a gallery, photos 8 and 9 next to each other and photo 12 should be the closing photo with this text over it: …
- White background with descriptive text at the beginning, then a blank gap and the video underneath.
- Photo ‘1.jpg’ as background image and these films in a row, each with this text on the side.
For written word and audio file:
- Make a word document with the text of your piece. Where you want photos to be displayed either put in ‘3.jpg’ or insert the image into the document. Ideally export as PDF.
- You can also add whether you want the photo to be small or fullwidth or as a background for a certain passage of the text or even another photo, creating a collage.
- For backgrounds please consider the amount of detail within the photo, images with less details and some space make better backgrounds for text or drawings. See an example here.
- A tip: if you submit a written story and texts, put the Pdf and the jpg files in one folder.
- Faded background image of nature, trees if possible or this photo:.… Have paragraph 1 at the beginning, ‘3.jpg’ in the background, then the audio clip underneath (4.jpg) and the rest of the paragraphs in a row beneath.
Format specifications for submissions
Underneath we have outlined our ideal requirements for photo files. However, not everyone is tech savy and if you don’t understand or aren’t quite sure how to do it then still definitely send us the files and we can do it from our end, or work out alternatives!
Name them: i.e ‘1.jpg, 2.jpg’
1/ 1280×800 Quality: 8 (in Photoshop, 80% in Lightroom) DPI: 72
2/ full resolution Quality: 12 (in Photoshop, 100% in Lightroom) DPI: 300
If you don’t know how to do this, here is tutorial or just send us either of the two versions above or contact us.
We are also happy to accept captions for each photo – this helps us understand the content more and can shape the post. Either put these into the metadata of the files with programs such as Lightroom or Bridge.
Alternatively, put these in the same word document; an example: ‘1.jpg: Taken on the evening of the celebration, this shows the energy of the crowd’ or ‘4.jpg: second drawing of boat we sailed on’
Underneath we have outlined our ideal requirements for video files. However, not everyone is tech savy and if you don’t understand or aren’t quite sure how to do it then still definitely send us the files and we can do it from our end, or work out alternatives!
Name the file with project name: i.e ‘(Year)-(YourName)-SailingInThePacific’
Format: Ideally H.264. They will end on .MP4 or .MOV
For higher quality: Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Dimension: You can use 720p/1080p depending on your footage. Try to export at the highest possible quality or look here for more information: https://vimeo.com/help/compression
Underneath we have outlined our ideal requirements for audio files. However, not everyone is tech savy and if you don’t understand or aren’t quite sure how to do it then still definitely send us the files and we can do it from our end, or work out alternatives!
If you work with MP3 it works fine. The thing is that MP3 is a compressed format and some quality gets lost during export. This is why where possible we prefer audio formats like .wav, .flac or .aaf for the audiophile listener.
Format: PDF, Word, in email, InDesign, as a photo (if it’s hand drawn or a sketch)