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A Place Without People

 
A Place Without People

(A Place Without People) Director: Andreas Apostolides , GR, 2009, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 52 min

The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is regarded as a model example of how mankind should look after the wilderness. However, what is less well known is the fact that its original inhabitants, the Maasai, are barred from setting foot inside the park, which is the size of Belgium. Over half a century ago, the British colonial masters systematically expelled the Maasai from their homes, and that policy has continued under the government of independent Tanzania. Why? It may be because the original inhabitants would spoil tourists' views of elephants, lions and zebras. Or perhaps it is linked to hunting: the Maasai are prohibited from hunting the animals that tourists pay large sums to bag. Director Andreas Apostolidis documents the history of the origin of uninhabited national parks in the USA, which was linked to the expulsion of their Native American populations. It is clear in the sad fate of the Maasai how Western concepts of conservation and nature tourism have a negative impact on original inhabitants who have lived in the wilderness for centuries.


 

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