The I Live Here Projects

The I Live Here Foundation, also commonly referred to as the I Live Here Projects, is a United States 501(c)(3) non profit organization that tells the stories of silenced and unheard people around the world through a series of books and other media projects.

The I Live Here Foundation
FounderMia Kirshner
J.B. Mackinnon
Paul Shoebridge
Michael Simons
Type501(c)(3)non-profit organization
OriginsMalibu, CA, United States
Area served
Worldwide, United States
OwnerMia Kirshner

The I Live Here foundation was founded in 2005 by Canadian-born actress Mia Kirshner along with J.B. Mackinnon, Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons. Kirshner is currently the director of the organization.[1]

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 foundation began following the realization that more needed to be done in addition to the book project.

Kachere Prison ProjectEdit

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.

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.[3]

Book DocumentaryEdit

The I Live Here Paper Documentary was released in October 2008. The Book took nine years to compile.[4] Throughout this time, Kirshner and many contributors traveled to four different parts of the world, including Chechnya, Burma, Mexico and Malawi.[5] 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.[6] The book was published by Pantheon Books, a subsidiary of Random House. The book's tagline is "There are too many untold stories."[6]

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.[7] 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.


  1. ^ Kirshner, Mia. "I Live Here: My Story in Malawi". Cause Cast. Archived from the original on 21 June 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  2. ^ Lucki, Monet (March 4, 2010). "Mia Kirshner on I Live Here, Intimacy". Archived from the original on 13 August 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  3. ^ "Lessons In Falling: Growing Up In Malawi Prison". Huffington Post. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "NYC, I Live Here". Hustler of Culture. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  6. ^ a b Growe, Amanda (November 19, 2008). "I Live Here puts human face on oppression". Straight. Retrieved 10 December 2015.
  7. ^ "Book: I LIVE HERE". Aug 21, 2008. Archived from the original on July 21, 2010. Retrieved 10 December 2015.

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