Into Blue

David Attenborough Building, Cambridge, 2016

Sound composition Graeme Miller
Camera Ackroyd & Harvey/Kenya
Camera Rupert Eden/Portugal
Edit Dan Saul
Captions Ricardo Sleiman

Kenya Safari coordinated by Hilary Sommerlatte, Arbor Oils of Africa. With special thanks to John Fanshawe CCI, Anastasia Timoshyna FairWild/TRAFFIC, Hilary & Malte Sommerlatte, Abdi Aziz Ali Leruk, Pauline Lemalaisa, Dan Lekorere, Amina, Dino J. Martins and all the gum collectors from the Samburu tribe in Sereolippi and South Horr, Kenya.

Portugal filming coordinated by Rupert & Peter Eden.
With special thanks to Will Simonson, CCI and Eduardo Santos, Liga Para A Protecção Da Natureza (LPN)

Into Blue by artists Ackroyd & Harvey was commissioned by the University of Cambridge for the official opening of The David Attenborough Building, Cambridge, England.

Two trees feature in this joint-screen film – a frankincense tree in Kenya and a cork oak in Portugal. Human interaction and development of sustainable rural economies with the trees are critical to the longer-term survival of endangered species and to protecting livelihoods of collectors.

In northern Kenya the Samburu women have formed collectives where they venture into the bush to harvest aromatic resin from the frankincense trees. The increasing demand for wild plants poses major ecological and social challenges and the pressure on potentially vulnerable plant species can endanger both local ecosystems and livelihoods of collectors, who often belong to the poorest social groups in the countries of origin. Conservation initiatives are promoting sustainable management and collection of wild plant material, with equitable “FairWild” trade throughout the supply chain.

In southern Portugal, the emblematic wood landscape pastures have suffered decades of degradation and placed the Iberian lynx onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as Critically Endangered, and the black vulture as Near Threatened. Through the use of advanced imaging technology and the development of community relations, conservation work is reversing this trend and the Iberian lynx is now downlisted on the IUCN Red List from Critically Endangered to Endangered. The black vulture has an extensive range from Portugal to Mongolia, and recent conservation success sees an increase in Western Europe.

Set against blue skies, the sound composition captures fragments of thoughts drawn from recordings with a collector whose livelihood depends on the frankincense tree and a conservationist whose work is dedicated to the restoration of threatened habitats, species and livelihoods in the cork oak forests.

Into Blue captures reflections on the interdependence that exists between wildlife and livelihoods, culture and conservation.


Watch the film