This week saw the launch of yet another BBC natural history/David Attenborough epic series; Africa. With camera technology getting better all the time, it seems like every new natural history series is breaking new ground. And this is certainly the case with Africa, with the first episode being full of previously unfilmed animal behaviour, from intimate afterdark behaviour of black rhinos, to slow-motion giraffe fighting. In fact even the cliche shots of Africa; lions, leopards, elephants, all look incredibly stunning…Africa had never looked so beautiful.
A New Campaign Strategy
Coincidently, it’s not only the BBC that wants to promote the majesty of Africa. Oxfam, one of the biggest aid charities in the world, is also jumping on the bandwagon. In their new campaign, Food for All, they are trying to change people’s perceptions of third world, in particular Africa. They say they want to “make Africa famous for it’s epic landscapes, not hunger” and really promote the positive aspects of the continent rather than the negative. Personally, I’m not sure about this tactic. I certainly agree that doom and gloom is the not the answer anymore, but surely imagery of gorgeous landscapes is a bit distracting from the problems the third world faces? I much prefer the tactic used in their end of 2012 video…inspirational stuff!
So what does 2013 hold for Africa? Well 2013 has been dubbed the Year of Water Cooperation by the UN, which is pretty convenient for Africa because it’s a continent where both water availability and sanitation are big concerns. In 2012 we travelled to Kenya to make a short documentary for WWF about sustainable development in Lake Naivasha, where the focus is on cooperation between small scale farmers and big business to make sure clean water is available for everyone. It was encouraging to see that after years of drought, things are really starting to improve.
And it looks as though we’ll be returning to the great continent in a few months time to make a film about sustainable fishing, something which is vital where people rely so heavily upon fish as a source of protein. Stay tuned for this film later in 2013!