ASEAN Women’s Business Forum invitation

I’ve had fun putting together the branding and communication elements for this conference that could really make some impact in SE Asia.

The Hunt

[First published in Divestyle magazine] From the air, a baitball is a patch of bloody water. At its centre is a frenzy of sharks tearing into the sardines rounded up by dolphins. Welcome to the world of those fixated on dropping into the midst of that feast. Welcome to the greatest migration of them all: the KwaZulu-Natal […]

In Search of the Strange

In Search of the Strange

In Search of the Strange – and other tales of South Africans at large is an armchair adventure travel book that I curated. Published by Struik (now Penguin Random House), it is really a list of some of my greatest heroes and their most audacious and authentic escapades – for better or worse. Here’s my introduction: “Out there […]

South Africa & Michael Poliza

South Africa & Michael Poliza

My years of working side-by-side with German wildlife photographer Michael Poliza taught me much, challenging my thinking about media and technology and how we engage with them, both personally and professionally, both as creators and publishers. I collaborated with Michael and his publishers, teNeues, on a number of books – helping with image curation, project management and the text that would support his iconic […]

The Facts about Fat

[Previously published in Longevity magazine print edition.] Prepare to turn Conventional Wisdom on its head. What you thought you knew about fat, cholesterol and healthy eating might not be quite so accurate after all. We all know that to lose weight and increase health, the average person should eat less and exercise more, right? In the […]

Angels? I think not.

Angels? I think not.

“Scenes so lovely, must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.” That famous musing by Dr David Livingstone, after viewing the world’s largest waterfall in full spate, is not an opinion shared by Dominique le Roux.  Views of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World, have me thinking of dark and […]

Earth, Wind, Water & Fire

[Why backups are great: while searching for something else on an old hard drive, I discovered a folder of feature writing I’d forgotten about. Come travel with me down memory lane.] Squeezed inbetween a vast ocean and the longest mountain range on earth, Chile is over 4 000km long and never more than 175km wide. […]

Blueprint for Transition

Blueprint for Transition

Can we quit our crowing and our bleating now? And can we plug our ears with beeswax to avoid the sirensong still luring the simpleton to islands of Old or New media? As if the waters were treacherous and we had to pick one safe shore. Enough of the cocksure arrogance of those who’ve crossed […]

Run Like a Kid Again

[First published in Women’s Health magazine.] Remember when life seemed carefree and running easy? As a child, you’d run around when happy, you’d run away when scared. Recent scientific findings are now endorsing a school of thought that says we should all learn to run in the style we did when we were kids: barefoot. […]

Paddling the Islands, Dodging the Cliches

[First published in Out There magazine.] It’s been called the last frontier of Africa, a place of few people, shy animals and great empty places. Its seas have witnessed the shift of history, its forests are unmarked. Paddling to the Archipelago Das Quirimbas, Dominique le Roux is immersed in Northern Mozambique. Advice to would-be writers: don’t send […]

Coming Out of the Cold

[What a great memory to happen across this old feature I wrote about Bulgaria years ago, published in Out There magazine as their Destinations feature of the month.] Budget-friendly Bulgaria has horse-drawn ski-lifts, an ancient history as colourful as its frescoed monasteries and a drab, sad communist past. Large clods of snow somehow manage to find […]

Forests for the Publishing. Dreams for the Making.

Forests for the Publishing. Dreams for the Making.

They’re not seeing the forest for all of the trees. That Amazon focus: they see the books but not the creation. The products rather than the process… “Eco-system”, says Irish Chick, interrupting my musing. “It pisses me off that everyone uses that word. It’s not a god-dammed eco-system if it’s not about the environment.” Irish Chick is the female […]

Lessons in Creativity & Success from the Majority World

Lessons in Creativity & Success from the Majority World

In response to all the queries I’ve had for a version of the presentation I did at SXSW last month, here’s a transcript of my talk, and copies of my slides. I’d really value any feedback you have for me as I refine this for a broader audience. My aim is to arm creative professionals with the knowledge and inspiration that will […]

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name?

First, a publisher and editor have a a huge impact on the creative process. Some would argue that editors have as much creative impact as a movie director has on a film. Manuscripts are not the same things as books. Authors create manuscripts, publishers and editors create books. So says Peter Hudson of BitLit. I’m a fan, albeit a […]

Publishing is War: the Art of Wrestling at Chess

Publishing is War: the Art of Wrestling at Chess

In a weeks old (print) copy of The Week, an article on ‘Russia’s secret game plan’ strikes me as an apt lesson in publishing. “Russia’s campaign to destabilize Ukraine, and the rest of Eastern Europe, is turning conventional military thinking on its head,” the summary states, going on to explain that, though war has not […]

On Paper. Ritual, tradition and a new old way

On Paper. Ritual, tradition and a new old way

Out on a wide river tonight, candles float. Little floral platforms of light and hope. And, as they cruise by at surprising speed, they carry worlds and dreams of calm. These fresh carnations of an ancient ritual delight me. Especially since in the foreground it is white light and cars and noise and fireworks and […]

The Burden of Genius

Extremely moved by the death of Malik Bendjelloul – he of Searching for Sugarman fame and Oscar. Let’s discuss this elephant in the room: we are losing some of our brightest and best storytellers – film makers, writers, photographers, musicians – to suicide. Mental illness is killing our artists. And here is the crux: failure could have kept […]

The God of Amazonia

“Amazon are undoubtedly the most important player in the book world today. Whether print books or e-books. They really are the central platform around which the whole publishing industry is operating these days. Publishers think about Jeff Bezos kind of like how they might think about God – as a very distant, inaccessible figure who is […]

The Reporting Crisis: Validation

Posted by in media

“As language barriers break down and cell towers rise, there will be no end to the number of new voices, potential sources, citizen journalists and amateur photographers looking to contribute. This is good… The effect of having so many new actors involved, connected through a range of online platforms into the great, diffuse media system, […]

Will video games give documentary photography a shot in the arm?

Very interesting to read about some new video games being developed (and there’s the thing: this is still at development stage and we have not seen the market response) that tell important stories using real documentary footage. In ‘Are Video Games the Future of Storytelling’, Meghan Ahearn references Marcus Bleasdale and his work to create a […]

What price quality?

The Washington Post, one of the most influential publications in the world with a track record of quality journalism and 47 Pulitzer Prizes, is worth $250 million. Tumblr, the microblogging site on which users republish other people’s mildly amusing pictures and vast amounts of pornography, went for $1.1 billion. Price is not the same as […]

Crabby. Snarky. Hero-less.

I feel winded by the force of the venom (see below for links) directed at a 28-year-old Brooklyn-living Bulgarian who could or should be held up as a role model and pioneer. A woman leading a simple life, working damned hard at something she dearly loves. A woman who gives away the refreshingly-positive and deeply-detailed […]

On Stoicism and Journalism

Stoicism. Journalists need more of it. That was my Pop Idols epiphany last week. (Thanks to Derek Sivers and his great reading list that catalyzed my further exploration of this subject.) Let me backtrack and explain. The Pop Idols:  On Saturday I was part of a four-person jury evaluating the final project submissions of 11 […]

Multimedia: The State of the Industry

The short answer: all change. The short term: no money. Key insight: Good journalism has always been subsidized. That’s my quick-and-dirty summary of a report into the state of the multimedia and visual storytelling industry recently released. But don’t let that put you off. What’s also clear is that there is some hope for the visual […]

Love. And letting it be known. And finding the gold.

There’s something brewing in my head. A triumvirate of ideas that speak into passion, people and the power of media. It starts with this image, now embossed on my heart. Two people embracing. Two factory workers. Bangladesh. In a far-off shopping mall, destruction is lighter: my trousers are torn from use and my shirt has […]