Lilia Xie ’14
Enhancing Livelihood Practices in the Keiskamma River Basin
During my internship with the Environmental Learning Research Centre at Rhodes University, I worked with fellow PEI intern Alana Tornello to create a range of multimedia for the two villages of Hamburg and Cata in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. The aim of the internship was to enable the locals’ stories about the environment to reach a wider audience within and beyond their communities. In Hamburg, we created a series of videos narrated by the local artists in the Keiskamma Art Project. The artists explained how their works depicting unique features of the landscape are connected to the environment at large. In Cata, I made videos featuring the voices of the village’s guides, who are a group of young locals with a deep knowledge of the area’s characteristics. The guides described the local environment and explained what other villagers could do to preserve it. The audience for these videos includes local high school students, visitors, and environmental science students. In addition to honing my skills in photography and editing video, I was lucky enough not only to observe how the cultural atmosphere of a place impacts environmental change, but also to aid in the empowerment of local leaders to make a difference in the places they know best.
Environmental Learning Research Centre, Rhodes University, South Africa
Robert O’Donoghue, Rhodes University; Ashley Westaway, Border Rural Committee