Redzi Bernard in northern Ethiopia © Redzi Bernard
The Journey of a Lifetime in Northern Ethiopia
Redzi Bernard travelled to northern Ethiopia last year supported by the Journey of a Lifetime Award, to uncover the stories of everyday women. Redzi travelled by mule between the towns of Weldiya and Lalibela, which is a World Heritage Site famed for its rock-hewn churches. Trekking for eight hours a day at 8,000 feet, she followed in the footsteps of her mother, who undertook the same journey across the Lasta Mountains 50 years ago.
I grew up hearing stories about life in Ethiopia. My Mum lived there for a decade before I was born, and my sisters grew up there. Their love for the place shone through all their words. My favourite story was my Mum’s account of her 1968 journey across the mountains to the holy site of Lalibela, so when the Journey of a Lifetime opportunity arose I didn’t have to think twice about where I would go. Since then both my Mum and my oldest sister have had terminal cancer diagnoses. Mum is doing well but my sister is not. The radio programme was broadcast two weeks before my sister collapsed. The three of us listened to it together. I will forever be grateful that I got to visit a place so precious to two of the most important women in my life, and in capturing the sounds of my journey, I was able to bring a little of it home for them too.
Redzi recorded her experiences for a BBC Radio 4 broadcast, which you can listen to on the BBC website.
Antonia visiting the Naga people © Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent
Recipient of the 2019 Neville Shulman Challenge Award Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent travelled to the remote Nagalands of India and Myanmar to document the Naga people, their lands and their rich cultural traditions.
The more I read about the Naga people, the more fascinated I became - former headhunters who've been embroiled in a decades long fight for independence, they are going through a time of huge change, and I wanted to visit the Naga Hills before their traditional way of life had disappeared completely. A key inspiration for me has been Ursula Graham Bower, who set sail for India in 1937 with the vague idea of going to Nagaland to 'potter about' with her camera and maybe write a book. A few years later she was captaining a 150-strong Naga guerrilla unit against the advancing Japanese - and with great success. She remains to this day the only female guerrilla commander in the history of the British Army – she broke every mould in the book.
Antonia recorded her experiences in a radio documentary which will be broadcast at 3.30pm on Tuesday 10 March on BBC Radio 4.
Dr Maria Beger examing a coral reef © Carrie Sims
Understanding coral reef ecosystems in Australia
Dr Maria Beger from the University of Leeds conducted research exploring whether subtropical reef ecosystems could be a refuge for tropical coral communities in Australia.
Supported by the Ralph Brown Expedition Award, Dr Beger’s project aims to improve our understanding of the life history strategies of both tropical and subtropical coral reef communities to see how they vary. Building on her existing work in the Solitary Island Marine Park in New South Wales and Heron Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, she collected data from coral communities on annual growth and coral bleaching to help design effective coral reef management plans.
The knowledge gained from Dr Beger’s project will also help to design effective coral reef conservation strategies by enabling predictions to be made about coral community resilience in the face of climate change.