Descendants of All Worlds

Descendants of All Worlds

'Descendants of All Worlds' (DOAW) is Heartstone’s latest project and was launched at the House of Commons in June 2006. Those of you who know us are aware of our work to challenge all forms of prejudice and intolerance and this time, we are using our photodocumentaries presented in a new way to achieve the same aim. As with all our stories, the intention is to demonstrate that people have more similarities than we have differences and that there may be more than one side to a story. 

 A number of funders helped us get this project into existence including the Home Office, the Churches Commission for Racial Justice and many others. Across the country, we were able to set up a network of ‘Descendants of All Worlds’ mini-exhibition sites which are designed to carry a single new Heartstone story which changes periodically. We now have over 50 sites in the UK and it is growing each month as new areas join this network.

 We hope through the project, we will be able to bring you into closer contact with people from different nationalities and cultures and environments that you may not have known much about. We hope these stories will give you a new window on our world and help you discover, in the case of those stories which relate to people, that there is not much that separates you from them, however far removed from you they may at first appear.

Photodocumentary as a route to challenge prejudice / intolerance

Images in the world today are a powerful route through which to influence attitudes, ideas and behaviour. They cross language, national, racial and other boundaries as they use the universal language of human emotion to tell a story. The effect they have on shaping how we see our world and what we do is well researched and accepted leading to an advertising and media industry where millions of pounds are spent every year. In the context of photojournalism where the intention is to present a ‘moment of time’, it is increasingly of concern as constantly reported in the photographic press, that our power to manipulate and change images to present any story that we want is now almost limitless which raises questions in relation to what we believe is true and what is not and how far down this path it is acceptable to go. We are ‘bombarded’ with images every day, a silent route through which our ideas are being influenced especially in the context of how we relate to other people.

 Heartstone has a long-standing reputation for the fact that our photodocumentaries are presented without manipulation, staging or posing. It is this approach which has frequently led to us being provided access to locations for stories which are difficult to obtain otherwise and which cover a wide range of subjects enabling us to cover the issues of prejudice/intolerance from many different angles. 

DOAW - Descendants of All Worlds

Over the course of the year, we will be presenting 6 different photodocumentaries. You will find these stories will give you a route through which to:

  • build greater contact, understanding and communication across different nationalities,  backgrounds, races and cultures
  • develop discussion/debate on the issues of racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance,   using the stories as the starting stimulus
  • develop definitions of what constitutes negative / positive behaviour
  • understand how stereotypes and prejudices are formed and what can be done to counteract these