Giraf's mission is to benefit the arts and culture economy by building tools for sharing, discovering, and creating cultural life. We believe in the power of culture to positively transform the way people relate to each other.
Giraf is incorporated as a public benefit corporation. The public benefit in our corporate charter is "to benefit artists through the sharing and discovery of their works and events".
Giraf grew out of my discovery in 2011 of Our Garden Needs Its Flowers, an album from 1985 by musicians Jess Sah Bi and Peter One from the Ivory Coast. The album's singular mixture of Ivorian folk and American country music was a revelation to me, and planted the seed of an idea in my mind, for an app dedicated to the sharing of favorite "obscure" works of art. I had learned about the album thanks to a music blog (Awesome Tapes from Africa), which was the latest in a series of music recommendations, going back many years, from a friend.
The idea lay dormant through the mid-2010's, while I learned to make software. Then an unforeseen series of events culminated in 2018 with Our Garden Needs Its Flowers being reissued, enabling me to produce a short documentary about Jess and Peter. This experience changed my sense of the possible and convinced me of the power that lies in people sharing cultural knowledge with each other.
I began writing the code for Giraf soon afterwards. I dropped the focus on "obscurity" from the original idea, and imagined a general-purpose tool that would serve people's ongoing journey of cultural exploration. The first version of Giraf was released in April 2019.
Giraf participates in the affiliate programs of Bookshop.org and Amazon.com and earns from qualifying purchases under those programs.
Giraf uses the TMDb API but is not endorsed or certified by TMDb.