WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHERS EXHIBIT AT USHAKA AQUARIUM
By: Sonam Bhagwandas and Zamalanda Mahlaba
The internationally renowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition, which launched on 24 July at the Durban’s uShaka Marine World, will be open to the public for two months from 25 July to 25 September this year.
The glamorous cocktail party was attended by a number of filmmakers and broadcast experts from across the world. Other dignitaries included the producer of BBC Africa series, James Honeyborne, and New York based executive producer, Peter Hamilton.
According to a press release sent out by the Durban Wild Talk Africa, the exhibition will feature 100 of the world’s most amazing wildlife photographs, taken by 77 top international photographers. The selection of images was made from a massive 48 000 entries submitted from 98 countries worldwide and includes work from South African photographers like Brent Stirton, Jean Tresfon, Heinrich van den Berg, Kim Wolhuter, Frits Hoogendijk, Thomas Peschak and Hannes Lochner.
The launch forms part of Wild Talk Africa, the largest international wildlife and natural history film festival and conference in Africa. The exhibition, which marks its return to Durban after a seven-year hiatus, has been brought to the city by National Geographic Channels International.
Councillor Fawzia Peer, who attended the launch party on behalf of eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo, said that they are proud to be hosting this prestigious event.
“We are extremely proud to have hosted this exhibition in Durban as we know Durban is any photographer’s paradise with the incredible sights to experience. The EThekwini Municipality prides themselves on conservation and our quest is to make Durban the greenest city,” stated Peer.
Peer also mentioned that she and the municipality hope that the next great photograph will be taken in Durban.
A public debate on the on rhino poaching was held last Thursday by the Wild Talk Africa which was hosted by the Docklands Hotel in Durban. Featuring Julian Rademeyer, author of Killing for Profit, wildlife film producers, conservation organisations and on-the-ground rangers, the public debate, focused on the billion-dollar black market industry. Threaded into the debate was an honest observation on the impact of the media hype and film coverage in the war against rhino poaching.
“Poaching syndicates operate under the radar, flying unmarked helicopters or operating on foot. To fight back a variety of tactics have been used; from unmanned military drones, to personal bodyguards and even poison, injected directly into the horn itself. Every weapon has been drawn, aimed and fired, including the cameras,” Director of Wild Talk Africa, Donfrey Meyer said.
Later that evening, Sibaya Casino played host to the Roscars Awards (Rhino Oscars) where the film, Saving Rhino Phila won the award for Best Film
According to Anthony Mafela from Rise Mzansi, the awards evening is about making a change through film, being the voice of these animals and covering every angle. He also stated that these awards are held to recognise the hard work put in by these film makers to create awareness on the topic at hand.