Project Unsung

The UN Refugee Agency’s Project Unsung is a speculative storytelling project that brings together creative collaborators from around the world to help reimagine the humanitarian sector and promote narrative change and foresight in our work.

The worlds produced through mediums such as non-fiction essays, science fiction, poetry, art and illustration, create visions for how we might radically reimagine our work with communities, our organizations, and our relationships to each other and the planet.

The collection is framed across three overarching issues that we believe to be critical for building just futures:

  • Nature (restoring and repairing the world by confronting climate change and ecological loss);
  • Identity (fostering belonging, connection, and kinship);
  • Power (reimaging and reconfiguring power dynamics and social transformation through decolonizing, localizing, and building solidarity across difference).

The story of humanitarian innovation needs a new chapter. Join us in imagining better worlds.


Letter from the editors

Letter on the art direction


Beyond destruction: innovation as an offering for repair, responsibility and reparations

How can we reframe innovation for more just futures?

Art, Fabulation, and Practicing the Worlds We Want

Art and imagination in the response to social crises.

What comes after renewal? Drifting through post-mortem encounters, world endings, and the state of emergency response

Towards a plural world that prizes interdependence with nature.

xPass; or an Identity Paper in Three Parts

‘xPass’ expands belonging in recognition of complex histories.

New Frontiers: The Future Narratives of Refugee Crises

The future narratives of the refugee crisis.

The Cartography of Consciousness: A journey to affective technologies of belonging

Emotions, the body and memory in designing just futures.

Coordinates of Speculative Solidarity

Empathy, care and help narratives in the humanitarian sector.

The Anthropocene does not need more technical solutions; it needs our liberation

A personal reflection on creativity and social justice.


UN launches new museum to document humanity's reconciliation with the natural world.

The Homecoming Museum seeks artefacts that reconcile humanity with nature.

‘There is life after extinction’. The journey of Dunia Island

In 2034, UNHCR stewards a community facing ecological collapse.

Onward to the Blue Falls

Evelina cycles into the path of future humanitarian infrastructures.


A speculative correspondence on the future of displacement.


The Land Had Imperial Scars // The Ocean Knew All Along

A poem of two worlds explores race, climate and capitalism.

Harmony, a dancing God

Harmony, a dancing god, represents a multiform existence.


Conjure a future

Download the PDF to collaborate on this activity with others.

Narrative shift: from saviourism to solidarity

Download the PDF to note down your design values.

Difference as personal power

Download the PDF to reflect on difference and creativity.

A visioning spell

Compose a spell for liberation.

Caring Interventions

Write an intervention letter to innovation.


Speculative Invoices for Climate Reparations

A UN entity speculates the price of exploitative practices.

Contributors and Collaborators 

Barbara Adams
Marion Atieno
Deji Bryce Olukotun
Bodhisattva Chattopadhay
María Faciolince
Ariana Monteiro
Hansel Obando
Deji Bryce Olukotun
Jessica Olson
Jane Pirone
Vidushi Yadav
Leah Zaidi


Project and Creative Lead: Lauren Parater
Project Manager and Editor: Cian McAlone
Art Direction and Design: Shanice Da Costa
Website Design: Babusi Nyoni