With InsightShare I work to enable marginalized communities to make films themselves that express their needs and values on their own terms, ie not according to perspectives imposed by governments, companies, or indeed media consultants like me. With researchers at the University of East Anglia, as an InsightShare associate in 2014 we enabled Tanzanian farmers to make films about fairness in forests where conservation and markets are at work. This is one of the films produced in the Kilwa region.
What happens when global institutions try to assist community conservation in some of the world’s least industrialised areas? Among the `cutting edge’ projects grant-aided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF, a World Bank-hosted fund for `global environmental benefits’) are `CAMPFIRE’ – the Communal Areas Management Programme For Indigenous Resources – in Zimbabwe, and `India Ecodevelopment’. Both are intended to combine protection of biodiverse wildlife with participatory rural development for impoverished local communities. We explore the `ground truths’ of these projects in two historical and political contexts. We ask whether aspiring managers of `global resources’ can sufficiently transcend ongoing tensions in `local political ecology’, while diverse value systems and experiences remain distant. We conclude with thoughts about the `sustainable development’ of foreign missions old and new.