Views: Saving The White Rhinos Of South Africa

Poachers kill at least one rhino a day in South Africa. Their horns are in huge demand on the black market, and are worth more than gold. Anti-poaching squads are now increasingly better equipped: with night-vision equipment, drones and thermal imaging cameras.

Covering some 20,000 km2, Kruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. It’s home to the biggest population of white rhinos in South Africa – and also the highest number of rhinos killed by poachers. One major problem for ranger teams is their small size in comparison to the vast area of territory involved. Another is the widespread poverty in the many villagers bordering the park – and it’s here that you ultimately have to begin if you want to win the battle to save the rhinos.

Vince Barkas has 30 years’ experience working in wildlife conservation, and little confidence in the current system’s effectiveness in protecting rhinos. In 1992 he founded the anti-poaching unit “Protrack”. Its teams operate in the Greater Kruger, which includes private wildlife reserves neighboring the national park.

Over the decades he says he’s seen no change, despite rangers being better armed and equipped, and wants to see new options: “We’ve shot poachers, arrested poachers, beaten up poachers. Everything. But we’ve never sat down and spoken.” Vince Barkas believes in the power of dialog rather than violence. He and his son Dylan made their way to Mozambique – where many of the poachers who kill rhinos in the Kruger National Park hail from.

Their journey takes them to the town of Massingir, where Barkas Snr. first began talking to poachers a number of years ago. The problem, he says, is rooted in the very concept of wildlife conservation: “We’ve made wildlife a rich white man’s thing – where white people hunt and benefit from it, and go to lodges etc. And we’ve kept black people out of it – behind a fence. We’ve got to change that approach.”

Travel & Culture: Route 66 America’s Heartland Road

The historic ‘Mother Road’ of America is Route 66. It has connected Chicago and Los Angeles across eight states and four time zones since it was opened almost 80 years ago. It now provides a nostalgic and entertaining journey through a dramatic and exciting period of American history.

From Chicago in the east to Los Angeles in the west, there is only one direction in songs, novels, and for Route 66 lovers. This fabled route snakes its way through the gorges of the city at Lake Michigan before becoming a rural road for about 4000 kilometres across “Small-town America.” In many parts, Route 66 still looks like a museum from the 1930s and 1950s. This three-part series delves into the rich and historic route that has come to resemble a piece of American history, geography, and faded American ambitions from the past.

Previews: London Review Of Books – March 10

Architecture: Protecting Modernism (The Getty)

“You look at the thinking behind the creation of the building, but then also at the material needs. And you merge the two to really build an in-depth understanding of the building, and a path forward to preserving it.”

From the sculptural curves of the Sydney Opera House to the sliding walls and windows of the Eames House, the hallmarks of modern buildings make them easy to spot. Modernist architecture—with its signature use of industrial materials and innovative, sleek designs—emerged in the early 1900s and dominated the post–World War II building boom. Unfortunately, many of the iconic buildings from this period are now in serious need of repair but lack clear conservation plans due to the use of untested building methods and materials. How do you fix concrete that’s been damaged by ocean water, or remove graffiti to preserve stainless steel? In response to such dilemmas, the Getty Foundation created the Keeping It Modern initiative, an international grant program focused on the conservation of significant 20th-century architecture. Launched in 2014, Keeping It Modern has to date supported a total of 77 projects in 40 countries.

City Walks: Al Sabkha District In Dubai, UAE (4K)

Historic Al Sabkha is a labyrinthine district around the glitzy jewelry stores of Deira Gold Souk, with stalls piled high with oud and frankincense in the neighboring Perfume Souk. The Women’s Museum – Bait Al Banat examines the role of women in the UAE, and there are rare photos of Dubai’s development since the 1960s in Dubai Municipality Museum. Along with hostels, Arabic cafes and tea shops line narrow alleys. 

Design & Style: Fornasetti ‘Sun Star’ Tapestries (2022)

Fornasetti presents a series of 12 hand-knotted tapestries named ‘twelve months and twelve suns’ as well as a previously unseen 13th tapestry.

Fornasetti: precious porcelain, refined furniture and home accessorize illustrate the Atelier’s creativity. The decorations play with shapes and turn everyday objects into multiples of art. The world of Fornasetti floats between imagination and reality, enriched by cultural references and artistic allusions. This is why a Fornasetti object is not simply something to possess, it is something to live and be inspired by.