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A new creative collaboration for wildlife

David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

DSWF are excited to launch a new creative collaboration for wildlife with award-winning wildlife photographer William Fortescue. We are delighted to welcome him into our creative family and to continue our legacy of using art as a powerful tool for change.

Wildlife has always been an integral part of William’s personal story and professional narrative and we are pleased, that this year, his work will help bring to life and celebrate many of the species DSWF are fighting to protect through his stunning photography.

To explain more about his motivation, work, and passion for wildlife and why he chose DSWF as his 2021 charity of choice read on.

portrait of William Fortescue

“I am delighted to be partnering with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation for 2021. It is my sincere hope that the use of my photography is able to help generate vital funding and awareness for the fantastic, progressive conservation work being done by them and their partners.

The precipice we currently stand on is a daunting one. As such, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the messaging around our environment. The belief held by DSWF is one that I passionately agree with; art is a vital tool for increasing engagement with, and therefore protection of, the natural world. For as much as there is reason to worry and force change, there is also room for optimism. As we attempt to emerge from the devastation of 2020 our unsustainable relationship with the environment has come under intense and much-needed scrutiny. Let us hope this finally brings about a long-awaited and far-reaching change in global attitudes towards wildlife.

As a photographer, I am incredibly fortunate to spend between six and nine months a year travelling. A lot of this time is spent in Kenya, where I work in the Maasai Mara for Governors’ Camp Collection, one of Kenya’s leading safari operators. Here I split my time between creating images for their social media channels and leading photo-safaris for a wide variety of guests.

I also spend as much time as possible creating my own photographic stories and limited-edition print collections. In the past couple of years, this has taken me to northern Ethiopia to photograph gelada monkeys, to Tanzania for painted wolves, and most recently to Amboseli in Kenya to photograph Craig, one of the world’s last remaining Super Tuskers.

The latter highlighted the value of a holistic conservation approach, as undertaken by DSWF. It took us five days to search for Craig, finding him not in a national park or private conservancy but on land owned by the local community. As with all migratory species, elephants are constantly on the move and will inevitably come into contact with humans. It is therefore essential to foster positive human-wildlife coexistence. Without the willing involvement of local communities in protecting these animals, it would be an impossible task. To see Craig, with tusks that reach the ground, moving freely through public land was for me, a real beacon of optimism.

This year, together with DSWF, we will be launching a wide variety of fundraising campaigns including exclusive print sales, artist collaborations, and spotlight coverage on DSWF affiliated projects. We hope this will demonstrate the beauty of the natural world and highlight the uphill battle so many species face in their race against extinction. I hope my images are able to amplify the message and efforts of DSWF but also inspire others to join our cause. A mass collective effort to make key adjustments to our lifestyles will, I believe, lead to positive, global results for nature.”

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