Beyond the Fence


Tessa Barlin


11 min 32 secs


South Africa


Growing up in rural South Africa means being born in a country so rich in wildlife that foreigners can only dream of, and yet never being given the chance to fully experience the beauty of it for yourself. But Queen, Rifumo and Wisani have set out the change this. Armed with a camera, the trio aim to rise above their difficult pasts and “reframe” the narrative of wildlife conservation, which has long since had a reputation for being white dominated. Queen becomes one of the only black female field guides in South Africa while Rifumo and Wisani start a business together. The trio have one goal - to inspire the youth from their community to become the next generation of eco-warriors.

Queen, Rifumo and Wisani are all graduates of the Wild Shots Outreach program - an organisation founded by British conservationist, Mike Kendrick. Mike believes that exposure to wildlife is the key to inspiring children from disadvantaged communities to become involved in conservation, and that this exposure needs to be paired with opportunity. The trio have each embraced this movement with overwhelming dedication, and are taking wildlife conservation to new heights. Beyond The Fence looks at the inspiring stories of each of our characters, from their challenging pasts to their inspiring outlooks on life and how photography has changed their lives.

With an aim to shift perspectives, the audience is probed to revisit their own ideas of what it means to do conservation in this day and age. The real question is, how can people care for nature when they don’t even have access to it? And how can they not have access to it when they live right on the park’s doorstep? This is the story of what happens when you give someone a chance.