or

There’s  a lesson for all of us in this easily overlooked incident.

 

The sea turtle pictured at the Archelon Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Athens on Sunday, January 31. Credit: Alex Vamvakoulas / Greenpeace
The sea turtle pictured at the Archelon Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in Athens on Sunday, January 31. Credit: Alex Vamvakoulas / Greenpeace

 

“It’s amazing. The story I heard was that people who didn’t know whether they would be alive tomorrow helped this animal. At other times these turtles are simply harmed by people,” said Polymnia Nestoridou at the sea turtle rescue centre.

Days later, I do not know where the turtle’s temporary companions are. Mainly Afghans seeking safety, I am also unsure where their journey will take them.

As a young man in Greece, I spent many years working with others to ensure that wildlife achieved the recognition it deserved, to guarantee protection for endangered species and to create protected areas for loggerhead sea turtles, such as the Marine Park of Zakynthos.

Circulars, ministerial decisions and presidential decrees emerged to provide legal and administrative protection for wildlife. Proudly, I watched a dream come true as Greece, the country with the biggest nesting population of sea turtles in the Mediterranean, established a specialised rehabilitation centre.

I saw collaborations with port authorities and airline companies, veterinarians and other specialists. Volunteers from around the world worked together to save the loggerhead. I feel proud to have played a role and believe it was a step forward for humanity, and our country in particular.

I never imagined that one day an injured turtle would have a place on a plane while traumatised people would be left out in the cold, rain and snow, or behind some barbed wire in the midst of Europe’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II.

Today’s reality surpasses my understanding and I imagine it surpasses everyone’s understanding. Some people have fewer rights and opportunities than some animals.

 

Quote above from Nikos Charalambides, Executive Director of Greenpeace Greece and a member of the Marine Turtles Specialists Group (MTSG) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

 

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

More articles from John Macpherson

The Birds and the B’s

Image © John MacPherson
Image © John MacPherson

 

The ‘B’s’ are Blowhard Blokey Birding Bumwhuffles. (I made that last one up but I think it’s apt.)

I came across this blog post tonight and it just confirmed something I’ve observed and had recounted to me by women colleagues and friends. It pisses me off. But don’t let me sway you, read this blog post by young conservationist Mya-Rose Craig and decide for yourself. Mya-Rose is 13 and is already making her mark: she is (from her website):

“…a 13 year old young birder, naturalist, conservationist, environmentalist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She loved seeing Mountain Gorillas in East Africa and is looking forward to watching Penguins in Antarctica in December 2015, which will be her 7th continent. Mya-Rose is a Bristol European Green Capital 2015 Ambassador along with Kevin McCloud, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Tony Juniper, Simon King, Miranda Krestovnikoff and Shaun the Sheep! See the full list of Bristol 2015 Ambassadors. She has also been listed with the singer songwriter George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of Bristol’s most influential young people. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter “

 

My lovely friend Lucy McRobert wrote a brilliant article in the December 2015 edition of BBC Wildlife Magazine.  In it she talked about the sexism in birding and nature conservation. This was something raised by Matt Williams at the September 2014 AFON Conference in Cambridge.  It was a subject that I felt so strongly about, that I was prepared to speak up about it in front of all the delegates.  This is a longer version of the letter that I have sent about the article.

Dear BBC Wildlife Magazine

Lucy McRobert is exactly right in her opinion on sexism in nature conservation. Even at 13 years old, sexism brings me down.  It’s hard to talk about it without sounding like you have “sour grapes”, but I will try.  I go to Scouts and Guides; in the first we roll around in mud and make nest boxes; whilst in the other, we have movie nights and are told Guides aren’t interested in nature.  These stereotypes are ingrained before children even leave primary school. Age 7, I was in a BBC4 programme about birding, after which I was subjected to a lot of abuse on social media.  If I had been a boy, being out birding at the weekends would have been acceptable and people would not have been clambering to say that I was “clearly” uninterested in birds. A boy would have reminded male birders of their own childhood and would have been seen as normal.  As a girl, I was unfairly labeled as “bored and unhappy”……………………………….click to continue reading original article

 

I think these narrow-minded conservationists needs more conversations about inclusion. Tweet this if you feel the same.

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

More articles from John Macpherson

Interested in documentary photography?

Want to find compelling stories but not sure where to look?

Curious about the ethics of representation?

Watch this; an insightful film by Neale James about photographer Jim Mortram and his ongoing documentary work with his small community in Dereham, Norfolk.

 

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

More articles from John Macpherson

Looking for work to kickstart a career in production? Then this might be for you.

We’re currently offering a 6 month internship in our Birmingham production office.

This is a great chance for the right person to learn in a small company who specialise in mini documentaries.

To fit in you need to be passionate about the kind of stories we tell.   You’ll  want to be part of a team that makes films like Someone To Kill or lighter stuff like Double Joy or our Born To Engineer films (made by someone who joined us as an intern a couple of years ago):

 

To apply write to us at [email protected]  explaining:

1: Why you want to work with us and why we would want to work with you (see qualities required below)

2: Past experience in the creative arts/journalism

3: Software you can use

4: Links to your work

No CV’s and no attachments please. Please do not be offended if beyond acknowledgement you don’t hear back.

To get on at duckrabbit it helps if you are

1: A team-worker
2: An emotionally intelligent and caring person
3: Have good levels of concentration and are comfortable working autonomously
4: Like dogs
5: Are not frightened of computers (or dogs)
6: Take responsibility for mistakes
7: Interested in films (and music)
8: Are a positive glass half full kind of person (though we won’t hold it against you if you like The Smiths)

What you’ll be up to:

Production work:

Basic editing
Assisting
Kit maintenance
Research
Coming up with ideas

Admin:

Responding to inquiries.
Booking people onto your training courses.
Dealing with kit/office supplies/expenses.
Keeping the office tidy.

Social Media:

Posting on duckrabbit blog/twitter/facebook accounts.

Plus anything else production appropriate that needs doing.

Days

3-5 days a week (some flexibility)

Paid

Yes. But not a lot.

After 6 months?

We’ll see.

Deadline

As soon as we find someone we like. So get on it.

Do you like motorbikes?

Appreciate Britain’s prowess in the field of engineering?

Love science of the nerdy variety?

Got a sense of humour too?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, this is for you.

 

 

(The film was apparently bought and paid for by Triumph as a viral ad when the bike was launched!)

THANK YOU to @mrphoto Nick Wilcox-Brown for alerting me to this gem, and to Nick Litten for unearthing it in the first place.

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

More articles from John Macpherson

Y’allQaeda

And in other news, a valiant attempt to uphold traditional American values by the use of ‘the long gun’ continues. This is what results when a compelling narrative meets the eye of the accomplished artist.

News as art.

Brett Hamil we salute you.

 

 

John MacPherson was born and lives in the Scottish Highlands. He trained as a welder in the Glasgow shipyards, before completing an apprenticeship as a carpenter, and then qualified as a Social Worker in Disability Services. Along the way he has cooked on canal barges, trained as an Alpine Ski Leader & worked as an Instructor for Skiers with disabilities, been a canoe instructor, and tutor of night classes in carpentry, stained glass design and manufacture, and archery. He has travelled extensively on various continents, undertaking solo trips by bicycle, or motorcycle. He has had narrow escapes from an ambush by terrorists, been hit by lightning, caught in an erupting volcano, trapped in a mobile home by a tornado, kidnapped by a dog's hairdresser, rammed by a basking shark and was once bitten by a wild otter. He has combined all this with professional photography, which he has practised for over 35 years. He teaches photography and acts as a photography guide & tutor in the UK and abroad. His biggest challenge is keeping his 27 year old Land Rover 110 on the road. He loves telling and hearing stories.

More articles from John Macpherson