Journalism

here is a fairly random selection of my journalism from various places and on various subjects:

(there are lots of other bits to come which seem to be lost on this vast interweb someplace, and more to be writ, too….)

I’m writing bits for Bristol’s ‘green & alternative’ paper, The Spark

. Search their site for recent pieces on Bristol’s ‘green’ hairdressers, and an upcoming DIY piece on how to buy a coldframe…….September 2010

‘The Truth is Out There’

A report on the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, 4-8 November 2009

from Film International, November 2009

Under the title ‘The Truth is out There’ Sheffield’s annual DocFest came to a glorious finale after 4 days of intense networking, screenings, partying and documentary fervour. Since attending Docfest a few years ago, my impression is that this festival is going from strength to strength: the attendee numbers are up, with the resulting chaos of events happening across multiple venues at the same time. This year, the festival presented films from 21 countries, with 19 world premieres, 2 international premieres, and 45 UK premieres.

The great strength of this festival is that deals do get made here. As well as the staged pitching sessions, involving Channel 4, smaller production houses and many International TV stations, it often felt like pitches were taking place at every bar and in every corner of the festival site. This is the place to bring your ideas, identify your commissioning target, hone the fine art of pitching, and get launched into the world of documentary filmmaking. It is a festival where the commissioners, chief executives of broadcast TV channels, filmmakers, producers and dreamers as well as those who just love the craft and surprise of documentary films, can all just happily come together for a few days to immerse in the genre.

read the full article here


Speed Bumps and Snipers
Doing business in Bethlehem: Three days at the Palestine Investment Conference

from Jewcy.com May 29th 2008

Last week saw the Palestine Investment Conference, a three-day affair in Bethlehem organized to highlight investment opportunities in the Palestinian economy. Jewcy contributor James Murray-White was there to cover the event from start to finish.

Crossing into Bethlehem from Jerusalem is an experience. Coming back is tougher—being amongst Palestinians who are searched, held up, and often refused is a difficult sight to witness. Returning to Jerusalem on a little bus through the hilltop suburb of Beit Jala shows the interconnectedness of the hills and the land here: the continual heat beating down on us, the rocky fields interspersed with olive trees, two peoples living together on one piece of land.

Once you’re through the gray concrete monolith that is the checkpoint and wall complex, it hits you: Bethlehem, Palestine—a different country. Yellow taxis vie for your attention immediately, the terrible driving is worse than Israel, and the ever-present security wall runs into a town composed of rundown houses, shops, and buildings. The road is smooth, with a recently added speed bump, and the welcoming flags and banners attempt to hide the fact that not much is going on here at all….

read the full article here

from the website of Israel’s Green/Meimad Party

At a Jerusalem parlour meeting

January 29, 2009

The Green Movement/Meimad held a parlour meeting last night in Jerusalem’s Baka neighbourhood, and this green reporter was there to gauge the temperature of the audience. First up, speaking to a crowded room, Alon Tal gave a rousing oration suggesting Israeli society had lost its way. “We in this new party recognise it’s time to take the issues seriously,” Tal said. “There are 3 crises going on concomitantly here – environmental, social and political. There is a crisis within Israeli democracy – society is turned off. We need to make a seismic shift in the priorities of Israeli society!” Professor Tal continued in this vein, peppering his speech with facts about the poor state of the environment here, including a bleak list of specific sites around the country that are experiencing an “ecological disaster”, as he described it. He made several references to the issue of air pollution, and later on made a commitment on behalf of the party that if they get into the coalition following the upcoming elections (baruch hashem!) they will insist on a 15% reduction in air pollution across the country.

which you can read more of here

‘For Israeli photographer, life is After Mars’

Interview/article with Israeli photographer, Tamir Sher

from Israel 21C, November 16th 2007

Tamir Sher: Ninety percent of the time I don’t carry a camera. I see something, think about it, and return with my tools, ready to work. A children’s house on a kibbutz is an unlikely place to discover a talent for photography, but Israeli photographer Tamir Sher believes his communal upbringing helped him to discover the required perspective to develop his own style.

Sher, whose father gave him a camera at the age of eight, grew up on Kfar Masarik in the north of the country. Despite bad publicity that has since emerged over the policy of kibbutz children living separately from their parents, Sher’s experience was a mixed blessing.

Lack of privacy meant that Sher created what he describes as “internal spaces within himself while among people”. He became the class photographer, and soon realized that this was his path.

Continue reading article here (for link to Tamir Sher website, check my links page)

‘Exploring the realms of Mongolian Shamanism’

This seminal article was adapted from my Msc thesis on Mongolian cultural & spiritual revival. It was published in the wonderful GreenSpirit Journal (UK) in spring 2002, but sadly tis not online. Email if you’d like to read and I’ll fish out a copy…….

Various Green/Eco-Building/Organic Food articles (2006-2008)

For a while, I wrote lots of web content articles for a bunch of websites on the environment, eco-building, and organic food.

If you browse through the following sites, you’ll find my words – though none of the articles have my name on (or anyone else’s!):

http://sustainablebuild.co.uk/

http://www.chooseorganic.co.uk/

http://www.recyclingexpert.co.uk/

‘From a Deserts and Drylands Conference’

at Ben Gurion University’s Sde Boker Campus in the Negev Desert, Israel: December 2008

Events and frenetic discussion, both academic and activist in nature, have continued apace here at the 2nd Drylands and Desertification Conference here in Sde Boker, and I’ve taken an afternoon off to process the previous days proceedings. (You can see yesterday’s recap of the conference here.)The theme of day 2 was titled ‘the role of vegetation in sustainable living within drylands,’ though this was a very loose umbrella for the variety of papers presented.A critical theme emerging from this Internationally significant congregation of experts and interested parties is the effect of the creeping deserts upon human society – encompassing both desert dwellers and urban conorbations.

Read the rest of the article (from Green Prophet) here.

Rocky Road writing prize: Ireland

Some years ago I won a writing prize for an article about environmental conservation in rural Ireland. The prize was from the Irish journal, Rocky Road, sadly now defunct, so I will try and find it (on an old hard drive) and post it here shortly.

One thought on “Journalism”

  1. Hi James

    Just want to say hi to a fellow writer and journalist and many thanks for your support and putting my blog forward for the Observer Food Monthly Awards 2011.

    Thanks to your initiative, I have started encouraging others to vote too, with a link to the voting form on my blog. Cringing slightly at self-promotion but…thanks massively for the idea.

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