Save our Syrians

Three years of war in Syria, and we bystanders are hardened to images of destruction and displacement – while the job of those trying to keep the issue in the spotlight just gets harder.

Save the Children got a bit creative, producing a campaign video about Syria that shows nothing of Syria. It’s had 26 million views within 10 days, and counting.

Continue reading “Save our Syrians”

A hell of a to-do list: 2014 in development

We may need it all
We may need it all

What’s in store this year for international development?

Here’s a bit of a preview, drawing from various publications (not very scientifically selected – mostly, those daring enough to make predictions). It’s also somewhat weighted to areas of my own interest – hence the Europe/Africa focus. (The great danger of the Internet: instead of widening your knowledge, you simply find evidence to back up your own theories.) Continue reading “A hell of a to-do list: 2014 in development”

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. Continue reading “From dusty shores to a screen near you”