Margaret Atwood joins other activists in writing her own segment for the publisher’s latest visual project

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More group crossed nan world will get nan opportunity to ballot successful 2024 than successful immoderate twelvemonth successful history, pinch half nan world heading to nan polls astatine immoderate constituent during nan year.

But populist is still fragile, and its meaning differs depending connected who you prosecute pinch – an rumor The Financial Times group retired to research erstwhile it commissioned 4 short films from Attwood, chap authors Elif Shafak and Lola Shoneyin and comedian Aditi Mittal.

No alien to penning astir totalitarian extremes, Margaret Atwood's conception focuses connected nan forces that provender nan acold correct and acold left, nan electorate's appetites for dictatorships and demonstrates really populist tin beryllium eroded erstwhile group are fooled into reasoning authoritarianism is simply a preferred option. She urges viewers to 'call nan bluff' of leaders who show america otherwise.

Turkish novelist Elif Shafak focuses connected nan overwhelming gait of technological advances, including AI, and nan request to return lessons connected connectivity and corroboration from nan earthy world. She argues that nan ballot container alone, and nan expertise to vote, does not automatically signify a populist erstwhile "populist demagoguery wants to disagreement everyone into clashing polarities."

"Democracy tin vanish successful a gunshot" is 1 of nan grim musings successful nan lyrical conception by Nigerian writer Lola Shoneyin, who references respective conflicts that sought to suppress populist and nan quiet promises dictators made astir returning powerfulness to nan people.

She concludes: "Some of america person walked this roadworthy before; we retrieve nan wailing of nan dispossessed, nan disenfranchised, nan disappeared."

Aditi Mittal uses drama to sketch retired generational attitudes to democracy, playing some an Indian girl and begetter successful her short sketch: nan girl fighting for a populist successful which women tin thrive, and her father, who defends autocracy and calls retired hypocrisy successful imperfect Western democracies.

FT editor Roula Khalaf comments: "As we look up to 2024 and nan historical number of world elections, this bid of powerful and thought-provoking films astutely captures nan principle of populist and what it intends to each and each 1 of us. Democracy, 2024 is portion of a broader editorial inaugural to equip voters pinch master commentary, study and information successful what will beryllium an unprecedented twelvemonth for democracies astir nan world."

The films were directed by Juliet Riddell, caput of caller formats astatine nan FT, and produced successful collaboration pinch a number of artists, including experiential creation corporate Marshmallow Laser Feast and musician Made Kuti. Previous films written and directed by Juliet Riddell see nan BAFTA-nominated play People You May Know and nan award-winning movie Capture, which explored kid information online.

The films are free to position connected FT.com, YouTube and nan FT's societal media channels.

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