Report From the Field: We recently ran a community surveillance workshop for local fishermen in the Tombo fishing village. We trained a group of community members on how how to use cameras and smartphones to document what is happening in our waters and also aid in their collaboration with our documentary project the New Boats.
Currently Sierra Leone has no national efforts, Navy or coast guard, working to document these illegal activities. We were able to obtain a total of 12 GoPro Cameras in which five was allocated to the fishing community. Thank you to natural history photography extraordinaire and eco-warrior, Andy Brandy Cassagrandy for donating this equipment to our project - you are an inspiration! check out Andy's amazing and inspiring work here: https://www.instagram.com/abc4explore/?hl=en. Right now the team will be working with 5 GoPro cameras, an Android phone and a power bank. GoPro cameras with waterproof protection case are an ideal equipment for filming at sea.
The workshop attracted a total of 12 participants from ordinary fishermen, the patrol team, fishmongers (women) and leaders from the Artisanal Fishermen’s Union. The group was taught how to use the camera securely and basic journalistic ethics, especially for filming in their community. It was agreed that the production team should collect footages from the fishing community every week.
The workshop was facilitated by the production team Barmmy Boy (Director), Arthur (Producer), Miles B and Kabba (camera). At the end of the workshop the fishermen express their appreciation and affirmed their commitment to the story telling process.
Filming continues in the community with female characters who we have identified as potential characters for the film. All four of them have either lost their husbands to migration due to lack of fish in their locality or have died in foreign land leaving their families with nothing to fend for themselves.
In 2019 we will continue production on this important project. We are proud to facilitate adding a media component to these community surveillance efforts and data collection and want to launch an accountability website soon that will tie human story to this type of data collection and presentation.
With deep Gratitude,