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Stories Beyond the common narrative

Stories are the fabric of human identity. They stir our imagination  and ultimately shape the narratives through which we filter and interpret the world.

Stories can be about the self or the other. They can tell the good or the bad, the sad or the beautiful. They can tell the genius or courage of a person, or instead focus on their misfortune. Stories can turn anyone into a hero, a victim, a villain or even a passive actor of their own life. 

Each of us carries an infinite number of stories that together paint the picture of who we are. But our perception of the other is often shaped by a common narrative made of only a few stories, which when told over and over again become in our mind the definitive identity of that person or people. The problem is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.

HORIZONS is a collection of video series in which we explore topics spanning culture, geopolitics, history, environment and conservation among others.
 
We’re Estelle Geneux and Ramy Fouda and for the time to come we’ll be exploring the world on the lookout for these many stories – stories beyond the common narrative.

SEASON #1

SOUTH AFRICA

*titles are not final and might be adapted

Our first series will take us to South Africa where we will explore four different topics. Four original stories. We will see how a specific Zulu music was born, how it influenced the entire world and the legacy it leaves today in the South African music scene. Our focus will then shift toward another heritage of this beautiful country: its iconic wildlife and nature. We will talk about conservation from a people oriented perspective and question the war propaganda that has romanticised the field on social media in the last few years. We will then dive inside one of South Africa’s pristine forests which happens to be underwater and learn more about this ecosystem and its importance for our planet through the Citizen Science movement. And finally, we will discover the fascinating archaeological scene of this country and the many unearthed treasures it holds.

EPISODE 1

Why war propaganda won't save the rhinos

“The War against Poaching” has been a common narrative around the field of conservation for the past decade. This blockbuster approach of wildlife protection came with its share of romanticism often displaying an ex-military devoting his life to the cause of rhinos, where the poacher is an enemy to kill, and where the soldier is the hero saving the day. This binary approach of the problem misses on all the nuances and intricacies that are crucial to understand. In this episode we want to take a more informed and comprehensive approach and focus on the people. What about the local communities? What about local conservation work? How are people solving the roots of this problem through education and a deep understanding of all parties involved, rather than patching it up with loaded toys and hateful slogans.

EPISODE 2

There weren't Great Empires in Africa (or were there?)

We all know about the Great Roman Empire, or the Greek Democraties. But, what about the Great Empires of Africa? Through a combination of blatant denial, poor analysis of the historical facts and malign storytelling, it is as if nothing noticeable happened on the African continent between the days we were hunting and gathering there and the moment the first colons arrived, except the Egyptian Civilisation. But, there were Great Empires in Africa, beyond imagination. In this episode, we will discover the fascinating archaeological scene of South Africa, talk with the people reviving this field of study using the most advanced mapping technologies, and learn about the importance archaeology holds for the future of any nation. 

EPISODE 3

The Zulu music you didn't know you knew

Many of us have never heard the name Isicathamiya, yet most of us have already grooved to at least one song that finds its roots in this music genre. Remember “The Lion Sleeps Tonight?”. In this episode we explore the origins of this Zulu born singing style, how it shaped people’s lives, the influence it had on the music industry worldwide and the importance it holds for local communities. We will meet Isicathamiya singers and have a peak into the way they live their art and learn about how some people are working to prevent the essence of Isicathamiya being diluted in today’s modern and globalised world.

EPISODE 4

One of South Africa's largest forests is underwater

The Great African Seaforest is a vast and unique habitat of bamboo kelp edging the shores of Cape Town, South Africa, and stretching north for more than a 1000km into Namibia. Kelp forests are underwater forests covering around 25% of the planet’s coastlines. They are an essential element to our biosphere, as they are home to a gigantic amount of unworldly species, help regenerate the oceans, and protect the coastlines, among many other things. They are to the seas what the primary forests are to the land. And surprisingly: this one in South Africa is expanding. In this episode, we discover the history of the South African kelp forest, and we’ll learn from the people devoting themselves to its protection. We want to understand how our actions, and connection to the wild, can indeed make a real, tangible, and lasting difference.

The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasises how we are different rather than how we are similar.

Writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Who we are

We are Estelle Geneux & Ramy Fouda, filmmakers.

We always loved going on adventures and we chose to build our own brand and do what truly inspires us: video making, photography and storytelling. We love to use these as a tool to tell inspiring stories and document important subjects. 

We believe that there’s nothing more powerful than storytelling to convey emotions and inspire people to change, or to care more about a given topic and we want to use our voice to speak up and stand for what we believe is important. In 2019 we made a documentary called GREENING CAIRO about our project of building hydroponic farms in Egypt to help people grow cheaper, healthier produce given the pressure and challenges that agriculture is facing in the region. 

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