Tag Archives: Travel & Culture

Travel: Ten Underrated African Countries (Video)

Filmed and Produced by: Displore

Africa is the second largest continent in the world in terms of both land area and population, only after the Asian continent. Despite the ignorant thought that Africa is one country, Africa is home to 54 sovereign countries, and might be the world´s most diverse continent with very different and unique culture. The diversity makes Africa one of the world´s most interesting travel destination with several countries to choose from. The first thing most people will think of when planning a trip to Africa is the amazing wildlife the continent has to offer. With over 1100 different types of mammals most choose countries with the “big five animals “, national parks and the most popular countries but Africa has so much more to offer than just the most popular countries.

Travel & Culture Video: ‘Wuhan, China – Epicenter Turned Tourism Hot Spot’

Wuhan, the city at the center of the coronavirus pandemic, had the most tourists of any Chinese city during a public holiday in October. Wuhan is overcoming its pandemic past and benefiting from its hero-city status to become a top travel destination.

Photo: Getty Images

Travel & Culture Video: ‘Mother Ganga’ – Ganges River, Varanasi, India (2020)

Filmed and Edited by: Tom Butler

Varanasi is chaotic, intense, and beautiful. The ancient city is situated on the banks of the River Ganges and is often considered the spiritual home of India. A place where you see and feel the morning and evening rituals, where pilgrimages are made to bathe in the holy waters at sunrise to purify, where many cremations take place along the river’s edge, and where it is believed moksha — an escape from the cycle of reincarnation — can be achieved. It was truly mesmerising to be in the presence of Mother Ganga and experience the weight of Varanasi first hand.

The Ganges (or Ganga  is a trans-boundary river of Asia which flows through India and Bangladesh. The 2,704 km (1,680 mi) river originates from the Gangotri Glacier of western Himalayas in the Indian state of Uttarakhand, and flows south and east through the Gangetic Plain of India and Bangladesh, eventually emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

Varanasi is a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh dating to the 11th century B.C. Regarded as the spiritual capital of India, the city draws Hindu pilgrims who bathe in the Ganges River’s sacred waters and perform funeral rites. Along the city’s winding streets are some 2,000 temples, including Kashi Vishwanath, the “Golden Temple,” dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.

This film was shot back in February 2020, before the travel restrictions were in place due to the pandemic.

Travel & Culture Video: ‘Sri Lanka – From Tea Fields To University’ (BBC News)

Sri Lanka is one of the world’s top exporters of tea. It’s picked by women whose ancestors came from southern India and who live and work on isolated plantations, often in poor conditions. Their children are given limited access to higher education. But in a remote hillside plantation in Kandaloya, a group of girls have become the first in their estate to go to university.

Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean southwest of the Bay of Bengal and southeast of the Arabian Sea. It is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.

Travel & Culture Video: ‘Equatorial Guinea’ In Central Africa (2020)

Filmed and Edited by: Displore

Equatorial Guinea is a Central African country comprising the Rio Muni mainland and 5 volcanic offshore islands. Capital Malabo, on Bioko Island, has Spanish colonial architecture and is a hub for the country’s prosperous oil industry. Its Arena Blanca beach draws dry-season butterflies. The tropical forest of the mainland’s Monte Alen National Park is home to gorillas, chimpanzees and elephants.

Travel & Culture Videos: Germany Celebrates 250th Birthday Of Beethoven

The celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday this year is reaching a crescendo in Germany. The composer and pianist was born in Bonn on December 16, 1770, and his musical legacy carries on. In this reel, we meet concert pianists putting a new spin on Beethoven’s work. Susanne Kessel, for one, put out a call to composers for 250 new piano pieces inspired by Beethoven and is now in the midst of performing them. Elsewhere, the duo known as Pianotainment is using humor and serious piano chops to make the work of the likes of Beethoven accessible to all. We wrap up this ode to Beethoven with a visit to a museum full of self-playing musical instruments. And, yes, some of them even play Beethoven.

This Great Big Story was made possible by the German National Tourism Board and BTHVN2020: https://www.germany.travel/beethoven2020

Travel & Culture Books: “Marrakech Flair” By Marisa Berenson (2020)

It has been said that Marrakech awakens all of the senses. Whether it is seeing the intricate zellige tilework; smelling the various spices sold at the souks; hearing the call to prayer emanate from the nearby mosques; touching the supple leather used to make a pair of babouches (leather sandals); tasting a flavorful tagine, Marrakech never fails to excite.

Located just west of the Atlas Mountains, the city has been inhabited by Berber farmers for centuries. It has been dubbed the “Ochre City” because of the proliferation of red sandstone buildings and the red city walls, which now enclose the Medina, home to Jemaa el-Fnaa, one of the busiest squares in Africa.

Marrakech overflows with culture and has been inspiring visitors for decades. From Yves Saint Laurent to Talitha Getty, Winston Churchill to Mick Jagger, Marrakech has attracted great icons inspired by its eternal spirit as well as its sweet, beautiful life. Yves Saint Laurent’s intimate relationship to this city lead to the opening of a museum dedicated to his legendary work.

The annual Marrakech International Film Festival draws a prominent crowd. Museums abound, exhibiting Moroccan arts, photography, carpets, and the Andalusian design aesthetic that permeates the city’s architecture. La Mamounia hotel, opened in 1923, offers a storied history, which includes hosting guests such as Winston Churchill.

Vanessa Branson’s El Fenn is a collection of traditional riads that form a stunning boutique hotel. There are countless ways to be immersed in the culture of Marrakech, but perhaps the best place to start is with a simple glass of mint tea.

Dubbed the “It Girl” by Yves Saint Laurent in the early 1970s, Marisa Berenson is the original modern muse. Berenson transitioned into acting and delivered dazzling performances in iconic films including  Cabaret  directed by Bob Fosse and Stanley Kubrick’s production of Barry Lyndon. She has written several books, including Moments intimesA Life in Pictures  and Elsa Schiaparelli’s Private Album. Berenson fell in love with Marrakech eight years ago and once she found the perfect riad, she decided to call it home.

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New Photography Books: “Paris Chic” (Assouline)

Paris is the city of chic—and as such, its innate style shines throughout the city, even in the simplest spaces. Quaint bistros, picturesque alleyways, artists’ studios and unique characters are elevated to a modern-day genre painting when set in Paris. From skateboarders to antiquarians, this volume is a glimpse into Parisian life, as if peering over the edge of the balcony at your own pied-a-terre.

Collaboratively, author Alexandra Senes and photographer Oliver Pilcher open the doors to some of the most sophisticated homes in Paris, sharing an intimate portrait of various families. The quiet, daily moments of Parisian life are eternalized through Pilcher’s lens. Monuments don’t make a city; the people do.

Authors

Born in Scotland, Oliver Pilcher studied sculpture at the Edinburgh College of Art before embarking on a photographic career that has taken him all around the world and given him the opportunity to shoot for some of the world’s finest brands. Oliver has been a contributing photographer at Condé Nast Traveler for over ten years. He currently divides his time between New York and Costa Rica with his wife, Abigail and their four children, Andalucia, Bianca, Constantina, and Herbie.

Alexandra Senes is a citizen of the world, as she feels at home anywhere; a real asteroid with no jet lag. Senes spent her childhood in her native Senegal after which she moved to New York and then Paris. She worked as a journalist for over 20 years, including 8 years as the founder and editor-in-chief of Jalouse Magazine. In 2015, Senes started her journey with Kilometre, a brand that makes our imaginations go wild, drifting into far-off and unexplored places-shirts and home goods adorned with hand embroidery inspired by up-and-coming travel destinations.

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Travel & Culture Video: “Portrait Of A Place – Paradiso”, Italy (Nowness)

Filmed and Directed by: Jan Vrhovnik

Written by: Ana Kerin
Music by: Nico Casal

Meet Giovanni Mancusou, a small-town Italian man who lives on Italy’s Mediterranean coast. The wisened Calabrian invites the viewer into his sun-washed world of bright orange sun umbrellas, cool blue seas, freshly baked pastries and fresh vegetables.

Directed by Jan Vrhovnik, written by Ana Kerin and music score by Oscar-winning Nico Casal, Paradiso is less story and more a poetic thought piece. Dipping into a snapshot of life for an aging man from Italy, whimsical moments like the swatting of a fly are interspersed with provocative thoughts on life that can only come with the wisdom of an older man who has seen it all.

Giovanni Mancusou was a chance meeting for the team who traveled to Calabria to seek out the very essence of nostalgia. They stumbled upon him in a corner shop and were taken by the poetic way in which he used language to convey a longing for simplicity. Completely improvised, his philosophical musings—weighing heavy with nostalgia and unexpected wisdom—are what punctuate the themes of this memory-inducing short.

A film of contrasts, Paradiso serves to distill the truth in Giovanni’s words. Though momentary, humble and mundane, flashes of true happiness must be savored. Paradiso outlines that to be rich in life, one need only look to nature, a table full of friends and good food: the very essence of a Mediterranean summer.

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