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Film and research safari to northern Kenya, August 2015. Conflicted Seeds + Spirit (work in development)

Posted: 26 August 2015

In search of the charismatic Samburu tribal women and their harvesting of frankincense resin from the Boswellia neglecta trees, we embarked on our first ever African safari into the remote northern regions of Kenya. Shaken and stirred we traveled over rough terrain for many hours in Hilary Sommerlatte’s Toyota landcruiser, captivated by chance encounters with camels and nomadic pastoralists, some barely 9 years old and solely responsible for their herd of goats in searing heat on vast stretches of semi-arid desert.

Hilary has been working for many years in these extraordinary landscapes, creating networks with local tribal women who collect the aromatic gum from the frankincense trees, in turn enabling their communities to benefit from livelihoods less dependent on livestock and threats of over-grazing. With sustained protection of the resin producing trees, the myriads of creatures that inhabit these evocative landscapes, leopards, lions, elephants, giraffes, and gerenuk are given a further hand of protection.

Conflicted Seeds + Spirit is a new work in development commissioned by the University of Cambridge as part of Ackroyd & Harvey’s forthcoming public artwork for The David Attenborough Building, New Museums Site, Cambridge

Supported by Cambridge Conservation Initiative and CCI partner organisation TRAFFIC/FairWild Foundation

See the project website for details.
www.conflictedseeds.com

Safari coordinated by Hilary Sommerlatte, Arbor Oils of Africa/FairWild certified http://www.oilsafrica.com/arbor-collectors-arid-land-resources.php

With special thanks to John Fanshawe, Anastasia Timoshyna, Hilary & Malte Sommerlatte, Abdi Aziz Ali Leruk, Pauline, Dan Lekorere, Dino J. Martins and all the gum collectors from the Samburu tribe in Sereolippi and South Horr, Kenya

 

Map Niarobi to South Horr

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