It’s inevitable that our project would throw some curveballs at us – but never fear! We are prepared for anything! This week I experienced 2 curve balls.
Curveball one: Commercial farmer did not want to conduct a interview with us over the phone.
We were particularly excited to utilize the audio function in our “conversation with a commercial farmer” article, however, our commercial farmer felt extremely self-consciousness about his abilities in speaking english. So what we choose to do instead was send through a list of questions, and to our surprise, he replied in an extremely articulate manner. And to top it off – he supplied us with some fantastic photographs of life on the farm.
This experience got me thinking – there are so many tools at our disposal, and when pursuing a project of this sort, there is definitely an opportunity for a blended approach to interviews. This could include in-person conversations, phone calls, email exchanges, Whatsapp messages and more. The key is figuring out which approach works best for you and the story you’re working on.
However, it must be said that seeing sources in person is still the number one prize – this enables you to witness details that you wouldn’t be able to get via phone or email.
Curveball two: Video Translations.
This week we finally received the translations for our article that focuses on a rural area in Kwa-Zulu Natal called Muden. The individuals that were interviewed responded in Zulu, therefore we thought it would be best to get a zulu home language speaker to do the translation for us. We thought this would be the best (instead of using the translator’s words who assisted me on the day) so that we could be sure to accurately and precisely transcribe and translate the dialogue content of our video, in order to properly reflect the correct message in our video.
The curveball? The translation process has taken longer than what we thought it would… However, we’ve made up for it by directing energy and efforts into our other articles and have made good progress on them!
This week signified the beginning of closing the loop and consolidating the information we have to start placing the content on our website.
I spent the week taking a closer look and editing the footage from the interview with Director Andre Roux from Elsenburg. It consisted of transcribing the whole interview of forty minutes – a process that is tedious and tiring. Yet, incredibly important before I could start editing the footage and deciding what to keep and cut away.
Then I managed to highlight what I want to include in this interview, bearing in mind that my goal was to have it no longer than 4 minutes. That’s a lot of cutting!
So I pulled out three key points:
- The financial challenges farmers faced with the drought triggered by El Nino.
- The practise of ‘conservation farming’ as a means of adapting to increasing dry conditions in South Africa.
- The unseen implications of climate change, such as pests and diseases that are often invisible effects.
In addition to the video editing, it was consolidating the research I had undertaken to write up an introduction to the Subsistence Farmers Struggle chapter and start planning for the Challenges and Adaptions section. Claudia embarked to do the write up for El Nino.
We hope to display all content online by next Friday 23 September. Fingers crossed.