From dusty shores to a screen near you

Phew – first (published) video entirely made by me – in other words, my first credit as “self-shooting producer/director and editor”, not to mention researcher, translator, etc.

(Start playing, and then click on the subtitles icon, bottom right of the window, if they don’t automatically appear.)

Sifting through the footage, and figuring out how to pull a coherent thread from five different sets of interviews, most in Kiswahili, wasn’t so much fun. Planning and filming was wonderful, though. Kigoma, on the western edge of Tanzania, is far enough (two days’ drive) from Dar es Salaam to have its own, somewhat gentler character than that chaotic city; it’s tiny too, in comparison. But it’s a place of significance – an international crossroads; a landing place for refugees from Tanzania’s troubled neighbours to the west (Burundi and DRC); the endpoint of the country’s first rattling railway line  – and the spot where, supposedly, Stanley found Livingstone.

It’s got the history, then – but it’s also got the nature. The world’s second deepest lake is here, as is Gombe National Park, home of Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees, who put up with me, a deaf Italian couple, and a whole host of Japanese tourists camping in their midst, last summer. And of course, it’s got the politics – instability on its shores and poverty in its pores make it a not entirely safe place, as my colleagues delighted in reminding me, each time we set off again for another dust-caking, bone-shaking drive.

The final video is published here, with intros/subtitles available in French and Dutch.

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