Giving Voice to the Unheard

Mohsen AHMADI
5 min readMar 27, 2024

Unlock the stories never told with ‘Freedom Narratives.’ From soldiers to housewives, protesters to migrants, feel the power of unheard voices shaping our world.

The most influential women of the 20th century; The biography of Michelle Obama, the biography of the greatest kings of the Middle East, the biography of Olympic winners. Bookstore counters, movie theaters, and news headlines are full of the stories of the world’s most famous men and women every day. Everyone wants to know how that great American billionaire started from scratch and became successful? How did that famous politician manage to get votes in the elections and get the nation to agree with him?

We live in a world where the spotlight shines brightly on the rich, the powerful, and the elite. Their stories captivate us, inspire us, and dominate our cultural consciousness. Yet, in the shadows, forgotten voices go unheard. Their narratives remain untold, obscured by the glare of celebrity and status.

“Freedom Narratives” was conceptualized from a feeling that today, along with disenchantment, there is a deep sadness among ordinary people. Those who feel forgotten by politicians, journalists, and societal elites — that all efforts made out of the spotlight weaken our democracy.

To truly live, more than anything, is to understand and make meaning of our existence in its everyday reality. Unnarrated lives, lives devoid of meaning, have reduced many to a position where the desire to be seen in any way has become necessary for validation.

A democratic society, one that can see and appreciate the contributions of all its members, is the first step to stabilizing it. Recording untold narratives, re-examining daily events whether political, cultural, social or otherwise, and giving meaning to the unspoken in the books we read, covers some of the aims of this newsletter.

These are narratives that can sometimes be passed hand to hand, heart to heart, to record the steadfastness and continuity of popular and protest movements in societies. They help free us from the media distortions and propaganda that have taken over our lives today.

The Forgotten Soldier

In July 1943, Guy Sajer was a sixteen-year-old Alsatian who joined the German Army. His memoir, The Forgotten Soldier, recounts his experiences on the Eastern Front during World War II. It reveals the daily struggles of a foot soldier — the exhaustion, hunger, cold, and above all, the unending fear of death.

Sajer writes: “A man exposed to this misery for too long cannot ever recall having been happy. That is the most dreadful thing about war.” His story puts a human face on the enemy, showing their suffering and humanity. It forces us to see the individual within the fog of war.

The Housewife

In 1963, Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique. She gave voice to the nameless dissatisfaction of suburban American housewives. Their narratives had been excluded from mainstream media’s portrayal of idyllic domesticity. Friedan spoke of “the problem with no name” — women unfulfilled solely by homemaking and motherhood.

She writes: “The women who ‘adjust’ as housewives, who grow up wanting to be ‘just a housewife,’ are in as much danger as the millions who walked to their own death in the concentration camps…they are suffering a slow death of mind and spirit.” Friedan validated real lives that had been culturally invalidated.

The Protester

On June 3, 1989, the world watched a lone Chinese protester stand in front of a line of tanks leaving Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The iconic ‘Tank Man’ image symbolized the spirit of resistance against authoritarian power. But the man’s identity and fate remain unknown.

That brief moment encapsulated the hopes of a generation of protesters whose narratives were suppressed in the aftermath. Yet their courage endures as a testament to the human drive for freedom and democracy. The Tank Man’s silent defiance lives on as a symbolic narrative more powerful than any words.

The Migrant

In 2017, French artist JR erected a giant photograph on the US-Mexico border fence. It showed a one-year-old named Kikito, peering over from the Mexican side. This subversive act humanized the experience of migrants and refugees. It challenged the dehumanizing rhetoric around border security.

Kikito’s image encapsulated the spirit of innocence and playfulness that transcends borders. It condensed complex narratives around migration and displacement into one simple, yet profound, visual story. JR’s project gave Kikito’s narrative a platform to confront and reshape dominant cultural narratives.

The Forgotten Narratives Around Us

Society often reduces people to statistics, stereotypes and surface-level identities. Yet a vast world of untold narratives exists all around us. The homeless person was once someone’s child. The quiet grocery clerk writes poetry at night. Even the rude customer may be grappling with invisible challenges.

What forgotten narratives exist in our own communities? What voices go unheard? Whose stories matter, but remain obscure? Recognizing the complexity and dignity of people we ignore fosters empathy and justice. Simply taking time to listen respectfully validates overlooked humanity.

Democracy requires acknowledging diverse lived experiences — triumphs, joys, sufferings — that shape our shared existence. The glare of celebrity must not overshadow society’s responsibility to honor unrecognized narratives. For within them, our truer selves reside.

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Join Our Narrative Journey

At “Freedom Narratives,” we believe in the power of stories to inspire change, foster empathy, and connect us on a deeper level. Our mission to give voice to the unheard is a collective effort, and we’re reaching out to writers, journalists, and passionate individuals to join us in this endeavor. Whether you’re a seasoned storyteller or someone who’s recently discovered the transformative power of narratives, we welcome your contributions.

If you’re drawn to exploring and sharing stories of resilience, freedom, and the human spirit, we invite you to collaborate with us. Together, we can uncover and amplify the narratives that too often go unnoticed, contributing to a richer, more inclusive tapestry of human experience. Share your stories, insights, and voices, and let’s make an impact, one narrative at a time.

Reach out to us to learn more about how you can contribute to “Freedom Narratives”. Let’s embark on this journey together, sharing stories that inspire, challenge, and connect.

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Mohsen AHMADI

Entrepreneur & Product wizard who merges creativity with technology at http://Planist.fr, enjoys songs & stories. Ex-Journalist & narrator of #FreedomNarratives