Kenyans take to the screen to fight for their wildlife
Films of Kenya’s unsung conservation heroes were shown in remote communities across Kenya on a bicycle-powered cinema.
Hannah Pollock and Jamie Unwin, two wildlife film-makers, National Geographic Explorers and founders of Stand Up for Nature led the project and created the bicycle-powered cinema.
Stand Up for Nature produced 9 films about inspiring individuals. Stories included a Maasai man who habituated himself into a troop of baboons, a boy who hand reared a buffalo and an elder who guards an elephant maternity forest.
The films were all produced in Maa or Kiswahili and screened across the South Rift Valley, the Mara ecosystem and Laikipia to over 10,000 people.
Each film was about a local conservation hero who has done remarkable things to protect wildlife. They explain their relatable methods which help them to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.
This was the first time that films were made about local people and then shown back to the local communities. Pedalling just one bicycle creates enough electricity to show a film, meaning the films could be shown in even the most remote communities where there is no access to electricity. For some people it was their first time seeing a film and a bicycle!
Jamie said: “No one believed we would come back and show the films, when we did people were so grateful!”
Hannah said: “It was so amazing to see people’s reactions to the films, people were so shocked to find out there were people in their communities who would not retaliate against wildlife and have instead found ways to live alongside it.”
The films are available for free to other conservation organisations to show in their community outreach programs – to get the films please contact Stand Up for Nature http://www.standupfornature.org/contact.html
The project was possible because of collaborations between, South Rift valley of Land Owners, World Wildlife Fund Kenya, Gamewatchers safaris, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Borana conservancy, Il Ngwesi Ranch and Falmouth University. The Project was funded by the Scientific Exploration Society, the Explorers Club and National Geographic Society.