Monthly Archive for: ‘October, 2016’

Join the Elephant Wisdom Course

I want to invite you on a journey of your mind as I pursue my book about elephants in South Africa. My passion is to work on factual, or what I call ‘brainy’ photography books about our environment. Wait, then why did I say your mind? Because, I thought also you might find the thought-process behind this investigative-photojournalism exercise enlightening…

As Alice Walker so eloquently put it, “Anything we love can be saved.” And who doesn’t love elephants, right? But that’s not my sales argument for this course. Instead I’m going to invite you on this journey by applying a technique I call, ahem, questioning. :-) My beef is that too often do we (me included) jump on the bandwagon with an emphatic yes on various pleas on the internet, manipulated by our own emotions. And we might easily also condemn this or that, without really thinking. The causes presented to us seem so black and white – and the choice a no brainer. ‘Stop climate change’; ‘Save the children’; and yes – of course – ‘Save the Elephants’. But therein sometimes lies the illusion.

Do we know exactly why they need saving, and from what, or whom? And what caused the ‘problem’ in the first place. And more importantly, what are some possible and realistic solutions. At times, we, the global arm-chair opinionators might actually, unintentionally, be hurting the very causes we are so passionate about.

Read this (in bigger font) directly on the page for ELEPHANT WISDOM COURSE HERE

When we put our emotional weight behind something – we are powerful. So don’t we owe ourselves to be informed about where we put our emotions and our power (including how and where money flows in the world)? That’s where investigative journalism comes in. I invite you behind the scenes of my photo book in progress, as I explore some of these questions - in regards to elephants in (South) Africa. The working title of the book is 'Where Elephants Once Roamed.’

Why South Africa? It’s where I live nowadays, and I have found that engaging with the place is an extraordinary lesson in life - and a fascinating micro cosmos in which to explore the human condition. Also, solutions to ‘global problems,’ are usually best found locally. So ‘Saving the Elephants,’ if that’s our aim, might have a different solution in South Africa than in it does Kenya, for example.

The book, which is not a traditional wildlife book, will have several elements to it, including an exploration of humankind’s relationship to these animals. And yes I too think baby elephants are cute. And yes, for some reason, I’m crazy about them and want to learn more. I find them fascinating. So you’ll also hear about that – a lot. I’m curious about some of their traits – like why the ears of elephants here are shaped like Africa, and how their internal guidance system works, for example.

What's included:

Five short course modules, released one at a time, along the way;

Think-worthy and brief content (each module distilled into a few paragraphs on a page, or a short video, for example.);

Content will include some of the questions I ask myself and others along the way. That will be an invitation for you to ponder the same.

If you are with me from the beginning, the content will drop in as we go along – with the first module arriving on November 1, then on December 1st and so on – for five months in a row. (If you join later, everything previously covered will automatically already be in your course account).

So here is your invitation to – alongside me - become a more informed clicker on the internet, at least in regards to elephants in South Africa.

Also, you’d be doing the world a great favour by throwing your money power behind some thinking journalism. Money to pursue needed investigative photojournalism books ‘doesn’t grow on trees,’ but perhaps, I thought, perhaps it ‘grows on the internet?’ Yes?!

I hope so. Hope to see you on the course! Thanks for listening.


Read this (in bigger font) directly on the page for ELEPHANT WISDOM COURSE HERE

Sjoe .. as they say in South Africa

Sjoe (as they say in South Africa) this website really needs updating. I guess it means I’ve been busy doing actual work.. :)

An update of pictures and video since end of 2015 perhaps is due? I guess I’ll have to work on that during xmus or something. In the meantime, some examples and a summary:

I covered the drought, working with ActionAid as well as the IFRC, travelling to Malawi and Zimbabwe. Pictures and video. Then I did a bunch of local assignments, as in South Africa, flying to ‘nearby’ cities like Durban, Pietermaritzberg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth.

And for the first time ever, I started putting my own face on camera. For me that’s a dreaded angle, standing in front of it instead of behind. But I’m training myself’ to do it. Has to be done, among other reasons, because I started working on an elephant book! and I’m doing a behind-the-scenes video series. More info to come on this..

In my next blog post, you’ll get an invitation to come along – virtually – as I work on the book.