The I Live Here Projects

The I Live Here Foundation
Founded 2005
Founder Mia Kirshner, J.B. MacKinnon, Paul Shoebridge, Michael Simons
Type 501(c)(3)non-profit organization
Origins Malibu, CA
Area served Worldwide, United States
Owner Mia Kirshner
Slogan Stories Can Change the World

The I Live Here Foundation, also commonly referred to as the I Live Here Projects, is a non profit organization dedicated to telling the stories of silenced and unheard people around the world through a series of books and other media projects.

The I Live Here foundation was founded in 2005 by Canadian-born actress


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In addition to the collaboration of Kirshner, MacKinnon, Shoebridge, and Simons, the book also includes a curriculum developed by novelist Chris Abani, as well as contributions by Joe Sacco, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Phoebe Gloeckner, and many others.[10] I Live Here was logistically supported by Amnesty International, which also received proceeds from the book. Since 2008, the book has been used as study material for rhetorical courses in the Communication Studies Department at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. MIT has asked Mia Kirshner to teach a course centered on this book. The book is continually being used as a teaching material at Los Angeles Hebrew High.

The I Live Here Paper Documentary was released in October 2008. The Book took nine years to compile.[6] Throughout this time, Kirshner and many contributors traveled to four different parts of the world, including Chechnya, Burma, Mexico and Malawi.[7] The book is composed of four different volumes, each belonging to that part of the world. Mia Kirshner's younger sister, Lauren Kirshner, a creative writer, was also involved in the writing of the I Live Here Projects. Lauren Kirshner contributed twenty poems for Claudia, a narrative based on family photos, notes by friends, and missing person posters related to one of the hundreds of murdered women in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico.[8] The book was published by Pantheon Books, a subsidiary of Random House. The book's tagline is "There are too many untold stories."[9]

Book Documentary

The goal of I Live Here was then changed, leading to the establishment of the I Live Here foundation. Much of the work that was done at the juvenile prison was based on a system of permaculture.[5]

In 2005, Mia Kirshner and J.B. MacKinnon traveled to the Kachere juvenile prison located in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. The original purpose for travel was to gather materials for the I Live Here book. Kirshner and MacKinnon met the reality of a widespread AIDS epidemic and found the imprisoned existing in unbearable conditions. Many of the incarcerated children could not read or write.

Kachere Prison Project

The I Live Here program's goal is to empower those who are unheard and whose voices have disseminated. I Live Here also works with local material which in turn provides participants with a sustainable future. Coming full circle, the stories gathered are then shared through books and other media projects designed to encourage the global community to learn, be inspired, and take action.[4]

I Live Here believes in the power of individual expression to transform the lives of people living in the most extreme situations of poverty and isolation. I Live Here works with local organization partners to create an environment of health and safety and in turn sets up schools and permaculture programs, while providing legal assistance, as well as legal rights education.

Mission statement

  • Mission statement 1
  • Kachere Prison Project 2
  • Book Documentary 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The grassroots establishment of the I Live Here foundation began following the realization that more needed to be done in addition to the book project.

I Live Here started out as a book documentary about the stories of refugees and displaced women and children in Burma, Juarez, Chechnya, and Malawi.[2] The I Live here book has provided opportunities for women and children to tell their stories in their own words through a combination of writing, sketches, and self-portraits.[3]


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