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Guardians of the River


Aug 12, 2021

In the final episode of this season, we ask the biggest question of all; the one that persists beneath many of the world’s most pressing headlines, and haunts us in the face of a global climate crisis.

How do we protect our home? And Is this question in and of itself — impossible? Utopian? Patronizing? Neo-colonial? An answer emerging from a place seemingly frozen in time could be the key to our future.

To learn more, visit www.wildbirdtrust.com

www.wildbirdtrust.com

This podcast is hosted by Kerllen Costa featuring interviews with Tony Knowles, Gobonamang 'GB' Kgetho, Marisa Rodrigues, and the greater NGOWP team. This podcast is written, recorded, and directed by Cat Jaffee and House of Pod in partnership with the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project. Funding for this project comes from a National Geographic storytelling grant and the Wild Bird Trust. Fact-checking was conducted by Aimee Machado. Juliette Luini is the producer. The audio editor and sound designer is Jason Paton. The Angolan producer is Kerllen Costa, and the Motswana producer is Thalefang Charles. Story editing comes from Rebecca Mendoza Nunziato. Geração 80 is the recording studio homebase in Angola.

Music: The Guardians of the River theme song was created by Victor Gama. Victor is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. INSTRMNTS - Victor Gama, his award winning interactive exhibition with workshops and concerts, has been installed at London's Royal Opera House, Madrid's Fundación Carlos D'Amberes, UK's National Center for Design and Crafts and many more.

The theme music of this podcast is a journey of sounds from the villagers of Tempue preparing food and drumming on bomb drums while celebrating their faith in village churches, which is interwoven with a greeting song by the children of Tempue sung before the community meeting. There is also a reed harp played by Tom Rethio, a WaYei musician who lives near Seronga in Botswana. Victor also used a number of his own instruments including the kissanje, which is one of the most important traditional instruments in Angola and is found especially in Moxico and the Lundas. Most kissanji have small metal rings on their tines which produce a rattling noise as the musician plays, creating rhythmic patterns. In the music, we aspire to communicate that nature is ever present, that the history of the land has a sound, that learning is joyful, that elders tell stories non-linearly and give their knowledge permission to wander, and that young voices are ready to be heard. In addition to custom pieces from Victor, the music featured in the series also comes from Victor's 2010 album Pangeia Instrumentos. The tracks included on the podcast are O Pescador De Sonhos, Homem Vermelho Homem Verde, A Guerra dos Homens Répteis, O Olho No Anzol, O Diálogo Dos Pernetas, Mibanga.

Art: The episode art for Guardians of the River was illustrated by Fernando Hugo Fernandes. Fernando is an illustrator and graphic artist with over 30 years of experience living in Campinas Brazil. The episode art for the series was meant to encapsulate some of the Guardians of the Okavango River Basin, from the long-standing human residents and indigenous tribes members to the hippos and elephants and bats and dragonflies. There is also a plane. And the hidden dragon-like demon legend, Mukisi. Remember, Mukisi can't be seen with human eyes. How many guardians can you spot? And what makes each of these elements a guardian? Keep listening to find out.