Hello, this is the first in a series of short newsletters where I keep you updated on what I’ve been up to, am up to, and what comes next. Also, as this is being published on the International Day for the Protection of Children, I’d like to take a moment to remember those children of Donbass, caught up in that terrible war, which should never have been. May no other children in the world see or go through what they have.
After over a year away, in Donbass, Russia, including Crimea, and (briefly) the Baltics, I returned to the UK last week, via a trip to the Donbass frontlines –
The last week I spent with family in Wales, and have now returned to London. Of course, some have said to me I should ‘return to Donbass‘ etc, and that’s very flattering, to have my work appreciated. But being back in the UK, home, I’ve felt things as they really are, spoken with people. Most people here simply don’t care about Donbass. And that’s not because they’re ‘bad people’, or so – it’s almost never on the news here. Marginalised to just another war (or even?) going on in a country just distant enough to be distant.
All the work I’ve done from Donbass, for the last 2 years, the hundreds of reports from everywhere from frontlines, to homes hit by shelling, to concerts to festivals, simply hasn’t penetrated the information blockade. Of course, the main channels won’t show my work here, it doesn’t fit the narrative. And as for RT, who I still get associated with, I’d like to say firstly that I’ve had nothing to do with RT for a long time, and secondly, no one I know here would even think of watching RT.
So I can go back to Donbass, do the same again, the Russian, and a select western audience will know more about what they already know, and again no one (other than the select) in the west will notice. Or I can do reportage in the UK, and EU, to win a wider western audience, and take that audience with me to Donbass, Crimea, to bring the truth from there.
To that end, I’m working on a number of things. Ever more English subtitles on reportage. And I’m planning new reportage from the UK, and EU. I’ll be launching a crowdfunding campaign soon for my UK Referendum reportage, which I’d like to be … unexpected, interesting. Of course, when it comes to the UK referendum, I have an open position in support of ‘Leave’, but I’ll put that to one side to bring – with your help – objective, fresh reportage.
I’m going to put on a special film evening in London, showing the 2 films I’ve made in Donbass and Crimea – Aramis, and Crimea, Victory Day 2016, and in my time here be doing new reportage, from London, Europe.
Then, the next big project, as with all my work, fully crowdfunded, will be an MH17 documentary. I’m aiming for this to be the definitive MH17 documentary – based on extensive time on site, witnesses, expert analysis – completely independent, getting through all the myths, lies and misinformation to the truth of what happened.
So, there’s a lot ahead, a lot to do. It’s all to do, and I know we can do it all together. When you come back home, and I’ve been away for over a year, it’s an excellent opportunity for a reboot, to make some changes, and define how best to do things going forward. To this end, I’ve closed the Support Donbass Shop, but not before it made a big contribution to humanitarian aid in Donbass. Read all about that here.
Look out for crowdunding campaigns coming soon, giving you a unique chance for involvement in these projects. And be sure I don’t measure involvement purely by finance – every share, repost etc of my work helps to get the truth to a wider audience. And those who do decide to make a financial pledge to make a project possible I consider as partners. To all of you, I’m always very grateful, and more than happy to chat, find me on Facebook here.