From award-winning Photographers Without Borders, Beyond The Gun is a short documentary that follows photographer Damari McBride on assignment for for Nourish NPO as he discovers the complexities behind combating the poaching epidemic in South Africa. The film constructs a stunning visual portrait of South Africa, focusing in the town of Hoedspruit, which is a game reserve centre. Vincent Barkas, the Founder of the ProTrack Anti-Poaching Unit, brings us front and centre with the problem of poaching and how it’s currently being addressed–with the gun. However, is this approach working? And does it take into the account the complexities of Apartheid’s legacy? Being African-American, Damari McBride explores how it feels to finally be on the continent of Africa. Through Damari’s lens and experiences, the work of “Nourish,” an organization that fights poaching by fighting poverty, becomes revealed. The founder of Nourish, Sara Bergs, discusses the continuing divide between black and white communities, and how this is translated into “conservation,” which has largely been construed as a white man’s realm due to colonialism. The adventure continues to unfold as Damari learns more about what can be done to fight poaching holistically, and he also learns something about himself and what he’s capable of doing with his images.
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