the nile culture
 

 

Across Africa & Asia, rhinos have suffered a catastrophic decline due to hunting for their horns and loss of their natural habitats. With your help, we can keep rhinos in the wild and save the species from extinction.

 

Photograph by Kirsten Brophy, 2017 Nairobi National Park

Photograph by Kirsten Brophy, 2017 Nairobi National Park

 

At its core, M'ilima is a creative project captivating the attention of intellectually and socially influential youth to campaign and cultivate the next generation of wildlife 'Ambassadors'. 

This project aims to educate its audience about the crisis that rhinos currently face by embracing art as a form of advocacy. 'M'ilima' ("Mee Lee Ma"), meaning mountain in the Kiswahili language, is spoken in many countries in Eastern Africa. This word is symbolic of the rhino’s elongated keratin horns and reflective of the mountainous struggles these animals face. Through this sustainable and progressive project, we aim to provide support for a particular rhino conservation program taking place on the ground in Kenya.

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy supports flourishing populations of both Black and Southern White rhino with its neighbouring contingency Borana Conservancy, which together hold 15% of Kenya's rhino population. The White rhino was introduced in Kenya as part of 'Operation Rhino', pioneered by Dr. Ian Player in the 1970's. Although not a native species, it has thrived in Kenya, and the country currently hosts about 400 individuals. If costly & innovative measures are not taken, the rhinoceros will be something future generations will only learn about in history books; like dinosaurs, mammoths, dodo birds, and the list continues. We hope to secure a future for these fascinating creatures and sustain the beauty & ecological integrity of the places they live. 

We are working to cultivate a locally supported event during the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada this September, with World Rhino Day to follow. We will advocate awareness and raise funds through donation & product sales, while motivating others to join the fight. Collaboration with videographers, photographers and other industry creatives, we will implement a powerful marketing strategy around the curated event; including the debut of an avant-garde short film. Involving the efforts of the visionary talents of local and international artists, we hope to reach a wider audience and create an impact on multiple levels. Art has always had the means to provide a powerful rebuttal to the corruption of culture. Our strength as a movement lies in a collective revolutionary ideology.


 
 

APOTHecaRY

We have articulated a collection of handcrafted beeswax/soy blend candles resembling that of both a mountain and rhino's horn. Richly scented of earth tones and rustic remains, our candles will be distributed and sold in stores across North America and parts of Europe. Proceeds will support the Lewa’s Rhino Conservation Programme in an effort to combat poaching, their greatest threat. The Lewa & Borana ecosystem is currently home to a healthy 66 black & 62 white rhinos. Unfortunately, providing the 24 hour protection necessary, medical services and continued research comes at an extremely high cost for programmes as large as this one. This is where our help is needed most; & so we are directing the attention of our clients to this particular issue. 

 
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Literature

Over 50 exclusive photographs with 12 featured artists, spanning across recycled paper pages planned at 11 X 11 in size, M'|l|ma has a clear conservation mission in mind. The goal is a collaborative, image-driven celebration of the inspiring strength of rhinos and their supportive community. The book's emphasis is creative literature and imagery, meant to stir the senses and reach humanities elemental imagination.

PROCEEDS

All proceeds will go to the Lewa Rhino Conservation Programme on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Lewa has lost no rhinos to poaching in 3 years as a result of successful efforts in gathering of intelligence, increased use of technology, staff motivation and most importantly, greater investment to their neighbouring communities.

 

FILM

Showing during Toronto International Film Festival, The Nile| culture brings a new perspective to an old subject; poaching of rhino horn. This issue has not been solved with any permanent success and is continuing to threaten the existence of rhino’s in the wild. The appetite for status ranking and medical goods grows across Asian countries in spite of the well-publicized extinction threats and outrage; driving up prices. Well-organized criminal gangs poach the rhinos and export the horns in container ships, mainly to countries in Southeast Asia, where a demand has spiked in the last decade. Military tactics and training have been put in place to protect these animals and though some have succeeded, it has come at a tremendous cost. If rhino’s disappear in the wild, these same market forces mean that other species such as the elephant, pangolin and lion will be in danger too. This avant-garde short film features the rhino’s plight in a visually abstracted format; reflecting on the grisly story of strength and courage of one animal. 

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