EXPLORER: ‘BATTLE FOR VIRUNGA’ JUSTIN HALL SET TO AIR

Jun 11, 2016 No Comments by

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL ‘EXPLORER’ SERIES WITH CORRESPONDENT JUSTIN HALL
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC STUDIOS.
Great to see the ONLINE EXTRAS that accompany my  CONGO DRC: story go live. The show will start airing globally this month (starting with USA 26th June). I’ll post updates for Europe as soon as I know but you can also check here. In the interim check out the background story and videos, Q & A’s and more below for an inside perspective on what was undoubtedly  one of the most incredible encounters / experiences of my life.
If you feel inspired and want to know more or get involved, there’s a few links at the end of this post to those actively involved in defending the gorillas and making a difference in this area.

BATTLE FOR VIRUNGA‘ DIGITAL EXTRAS below:

DEFENDING VIRUNGA’S TREASURES: Africa’s oldest National Park is a treasure of biodiversity, but the threats are constant.


SUPPORT THE FAMILIES OF THE FALLEN: FALLEN RANGERS FUND: LEARN MORE /DONATE NOW

DEADLY CONSERVATION: The complex struggle for power between park rangers and militia groups makes Virunga one of the most dangerous places to work in conservation.

AK47’s & ALCOHOL: Alongside local journalist Caleb Kabanda, Justin embarks on the most dangerous part of his journey: a night with a local militia by the name of Mai Mai.

BREAKING THE ICE: My ‘Fixer’ Caleb was actually the Kick Boxing King of Kinshasa, a rumbling in the jungle kind of character who could have Hong Kong Fuey’d his way out of most situations. But most telling of all, when sitting among the Mia Mia, our young hosts getting progressively drunk on ethylene like alcohol, he adopted an almost Silver Back type poise… immensely powerful yet utterly calm. In going through these extraordinary experience we learn so often that our manner, the  way we hold ourselves, a simply look in eyes, means and conveys so much. Good intention and a smile have always been my main form currency in these situations. But it was actually ‘Reggae’ that broke the ice in this one. In explanation: As time passed and pressure mounted,  the young man pictured  below, pulled out an ancient mobile and started to play some music. I recognized the tune from my past!  An old classic reggae track by Peter Tosh. Spurred on by the memory, I started to SKANK…. my crazed white guy dancing proving too much for the crowd, they broke into hysterics and high fives ensued.

 

GORILLA CLOSE ENCOUNTER: A magical moment. Meeting the Gorillas on their own terms.

FIVE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VIRUNGA:  A quick way to get a basic overview of the forces that impact this area.

ALL ASSETS VIDEOS & COPY RIGHT COURTESY OF NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNELS
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER SITE: All originals here NAT GEO EXPLORER SITE LAUNCHES ‘BATTLE FOR VIRUNGA

FIND OUT MORE/SUPPORT those on the ground A few links to get you started:
VIRUNGA ALLIANCE

DONATE AND SUPPORT: DONATE
GET THE LATEST NEWS: VIRUNGA FACEBOOK PAGES

For an in depth update on the situation in Virunga here is this months story from direct from the page of

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE: BATTLE FOR VIRUNGA FEATURE ARTICLE (OUT NOW)

Written by Richard Draper with photographs by Brent Sirton

MY INTERVIEW WITH THE INCREDIBLY INSPIRING, TALENTED AND DRIVEN BRENT SIRTON

PRESS (SEE ADDITIONAL SHOW CLIPS AND TEASERS):

WANT TO KNOW MORE: Check out the video playlist of a few videos that tell the background story in a multitude of ways. J
VIDEO RESEARCH DEEPER DETAILS: Congo’s Brutal and Complex History: Researching the story…. There are about 20 videos in the playlist. Click the side icon to display list and explore.

BRANDED STORY TELLING, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER

About the author

National Geographic correspondent for the 2016, globally distributed, prime-time series of EXPLORER, Justin Hall is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, broadcaster and journalist. He is also a Fellow of the UK’s Royal Geographical Society, specializing in hi-tech digital storytelling technologies. In the course of reporting on issues across the board from illegal wildlife trade, deforestation, gold mining, cocaine production, child slavery, piracy on the high seas and more, Justin has covered a lot of ground: From helicopter raids on cocaine factories in Bolivia to tracking down arms dealers in Moscow, he’s hitchhiked a ride on a rusty Russian jetfighter and was one of the first to use tech to champion the rights of tribal peoples back in 2000. His passion for environmental, cultural and tribal issues was cultivated through his early work with Academy Award-nominated anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Pierre Dutilleux on the series ‘Tribal Journeys’. An avid storyteller in all its forms, Justin continues to crisscross the globe, with recent investigations taking him to Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Belize, Borneo, Somalia, Colombia, Congo DRC and three visits to Libya. Armed with a smile and nothing but good intentions, Hall is not your standard correspondent.
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