My 20 Days in Artek, What is, and Why Artek?

I just spent the last 20 days filming at a place you may never have heard of, the Artek children’s camp, in Crimea, Russia. 

It was an absolutely fascinating time, the most access of the legendary children’s centre ever given to a journalist. And it was full-on work, often starting early morning, and filming  until night, running, even climbing or swimming, around much of that time.

And that was the fun part. Now, the real work starts, to make a proper documentary film, and several video reports from there – with full English subtitles, of course!

So, as for the ‘why’ I did it – you’ll have to wait for the reportage to see. I’m hugely excited about it. For now, some photos of an incredible 20 days! And huge thanks to the amazing press centre there, Yury, Karina, in particular.

A Graham Newsletter (#35) Misinformation, Disinformation, and how to fight all that.

Recent weeks have seen many developments, including the blocking of my YouTube channel, for 2 weeks, for a video from Donbass, from 2014, of which I’ve written about here – https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/07/fighting-censorship-and-the-future-of-my-18-videos/

The actions of YouTube have forced me to remove all 18+ video material – from the war in Donbass, from my YouTube channel – I’ve written about that here, and will be posting the material here.

In removing this material, I removed an archive of over 100 videos, much of it documenting Ukrainian war crimes in Donbass. Millions of views, new views every day. Of course, people need to know this, to see this. I’ll be using this site, the Truth Speaker, where there’s no censor at all, to present these videos in the correct format. This video, result of Ukrainian shelling of Lugansk, August 2014 –

And here, information about, and context of this video – 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/09/18-donbass-war-when-ukrainian-shelling-hit-lugansk-august-2014/

Not able to use YouTube, which holds an effective monopoly for videos, means we need to try that bit harder to get the word, the truth, out. Please, share, repost, like, do what you can – we need to be together in this goal, of more people knowing the truth! 

This was the video which started the problems with YouTube, with them removing this, then content featured in the video (already on YouTube for years)

I’ve now taken the necessary steps to bring my account in line with ‘YouTube Community Standards’, but the problem is that the ‘standards’ have changed – a video that was approved by them in 2014, and on the site for years, is now a ‘violation’. That video, my first to pass 2 million views, and rising all the time, one which had a real impact in showing people the realities of war in Donbass

Of course, it can be hard, emotionally, for me to remember these thing. I’ve written about that here. 

Censorship is just one of the issues facing journalists. There are the dangers inherent with the profession, for which some journalists have made the ultimate sacrifice. Here, I’ve written about US journalist Christopher Allen, killed while covering conflict in Sudan –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/07/christopher-allen-kia-a-journalist-is-a-journalist/

And Kim Wall, recently killed while reporting on a homemade submarine, off Denmark. 

May they both rest in peace, and be remembered for their work. 

I’ve written about them both here, and about the role of a journalist, to go to where there is either the least information, or the most misinformation – https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/14/the-role-of-a-journalist-to-go-to-where-there-is-the-most-disinformation-or-no-information/

The world has several current key epicentres of mis, and disinformation. North Korea is certainly one of them. I was very pleased to present an exclusive interview, on the Truth Speaker, with the guys who made this indie documentary, The Haircut, well worth a watch:

And the exclusive interview, with Alex and Aleksa – here! 

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/15/exclusive-interview-with-the-haircut-north-korea-documentary-guys/

As for me, I’ve written here, about moving on from Donbass, but staying with Donbass, when I’ll return there, and more. 

For now, I’m in another of one of the world’s disinformation capitals, Crimea!!

That began with, a simple, but effective, tackling of the constant rhetoric from Ukraine that the beaches in Crimea are ’empty’, ‘everything is bad’ etc... How better to do that, than to let Ukrainians in Crimea themselves, speak for themselves –

Full interviews here! 

And look out for much more reportage to come! Fighting information, and disinformation, on the beaches and on! 

Interviews with Ukrainians on Crimean Beaches…

All of the propaganda about Crimea this summer, and yet how was it, really? Here, the words of Ukrainians, on holiday in Crimea, Russia:

Here, a ‘pro-Ukraine’ lady, from Kiev, on holiday in Crimea, gives her view:

Here, ladies from Kharkov:

The words of real people, real Ukrainians, versus the wall of western, Ukrainian propaganda…

The Role of a Journalist: To Go To Where there is the Most Disinformation – or No Information

I recently released this video, from Crimea, where I’m reporting from just now:

And I’ve written more about Crimea, one of the world’s hotspots of disinformation, here on the Truth Speaker –

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/10/graham-and-crimea-the-story-the-work/

And that’s why I’m in Crimea, because I believe it’s the role of a journalist to go to where there’s no information, or misinformation. Here, I must mention the US journalist Christopher Allen, recently killed while reporting from Sudan.

https://thetruthspeaker.co/2017/09/07/christopher-allen-kia-a-journalist-is-a-journalist/

I will also mention the journalist Kim Wall here, tragically killed in August, by Danish inventor Peter Madson, as she reported from his homemade submarine, Nautilus. This, moving tribute to Kim, here.

Here, my recently completed documentary from a place you’ve most likely never heard of, but with some real significance – Belval – 

[https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5018&v=mj62MxKjVdM]

Belval was a place to go for me because of a deficit of any information from there. A place from which there is plenty of information is North Korea. But, how much of it is disinformation?

I’m pleased to announce I’ve just completed an exclusive interview with the makers of North Korea documentary, The Haircut: 

And that’s the role of a true journalist, to go to where there’s no information, or misinformation!

Coming soon on the Truth Speaker!

Graham and Crimea: The Story, the Work

If you follow my work, you will of course about my connection with Donbass – over 3500 videos, 50+ million views on my channel of reportage from Donbass.

But, there is also my reportage from Crimea: 300+ videos, well over 3 million views.

My work from Crimea has always been hugely important to me. In fact, in March of 2014, of my own volition, I went to Crimea to capture the moment in history, do reportage from there. From my first time in Crimea, March 1st: 

Actually, as you may gather from that, I wasn’t really doing video at the time, and was focusing on photos. Here’s some from that day, Sevastopol, March 1st, 2014, as a large-scale concert, and gathering, was held in the city’s central Nakhimova Square –

Returning for the referendum, on March 16th, 2014 – 

Crimea election posters

A look at, inside, a polling station – as it really was: 

The mood on the streets:

And reportage the west would never show you, like this Crimean Tatar, who’d voted for Russia:

And lots more reportage from that time, in fact you can find all of my Crimea reportage, in English, by clicking on this link.

I returned to Crimea in summer of 2015, for a month of reportage (all my reportage, as ever, completely crowdfunded, independent), which saw over 120 videos, including this, from Yalta beach, over 700,000 views, full English subs: 

This, also from 2015, an English interview with Maria, from Dnipropetrovsk:

And Dima, I am a Crimean – 

I returned in April of 2016, for another month of work, which culminated in a film ‘Crimea: Victory Day 2016’.  Highlights in that time:

An interview with Natalya Poklonskaya – couple of extracts here: 

Evpatoria, and what needs done to improve Evpatoria – in the words of locals:

Showing you exactly what it’s like at the border between Crimea, and Ukraine: 

And much more. In 2016 I also filmed the first part of my upcoming film a ‘Brit in Crimea’.  In 2017, I’m now back in Crimea completing filming of that, as well as working on a host of other reportage projects.

Here’s just a selection of what I’ve released so far:

A video showing you the western false narrative on Crimea:

And the Ukrainian false narrative:

Interviews with Ukrainians in Crimea, telling you the reality of how it is here. 

And there is lots, lots more to come!!!

 

The Benefit of my 2 Week Ban from YouTube?

Never to say there’s a benefit to my current 2 week block from YouTube, but it feels like the period will represent a transition from one period to the other in my career.

Have been looking over my videos, and am happy with some of the work, but would really like to do everything a lot better. A lot of times I just uploaded material.

Going on, I’d like every video to have some real resonance, the potential to make a real difference. The next period of my career is the biggest, most ambitious yet. To go all over Russia, to show the world the truth about Russia, before the World Cup 2018.

I’m in a fantastic, fighting mood to do it all better, make better videos, set the world to rights. Thanks for being with me!

Here, Artek, Crimea! Lots more to come from here, and indeed all over Russia, before the 2018 World Cup!