Ishan Thakore

The following are edited anecdotes from a 10-day-trip around Tonlé Sap Lake, and a 7-day-trip around communities affected by the Lower Sesan II dam. Kakrona Chan, Makara Ouch, and Vutha Srey all accompanied me for parts of this trip, and together we spent hours interviewing people, riding boats and enjoying Cambodia’s beauty. Our goal was...

Ishan Thakore is a 2016-2017 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storyteller, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State/U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh. He is creating a series of short films to capture the human benefits and costs of large-scale water development in South Africa and Cambodia. Follow him here on the Voices blog, on Twitter and on Instagram.  Sokha...

As we drove past the Lake Gariep reservoir, formed because of the Gariep Dam wall, Toni Richard Poni points to the farm he grew up on. The farm, underwater since the reservoir formed, looks like any other patch of water, unremarkable in its normalcy, shimmering in the late afternoon light just like all the water around...

The gravel road that leads to Vlakfontein Farm begins with a nondescript turn, tucked off a country highway. The road was just good enough for my compact VW Polo rental car, though at times I was struggling through muddy patches or skidding across stones. The original plan was to follow the instructions Peter and Clare Barnes-Webb, the...

We sat down on the floor and drank over-sweet tea in the dying light. As he spoke, a memory stirred in me, a sense of deja vu. I couldn’t imagine why. I knew I hadn’t met him before. Then I realised what it was. I didn’t recognise him, but I remembered his story. I’d seen...

We’re trying very hard to get locals to come and experience these areas too because we believe it’s invaluable for them to see the complexities of Johannesburg, one they won’t see in the pre-conceived bubbles they live in.  -Michael Luptak, Co-founder of Dlala Nje For those just tuning in, I’ve spent my past two months...

Here’s a screenshot my friend sent me before I arrived in Joburg. It sums up what I had heard a few times about the city:  There’s some truth to the narrative that Johannesburg is unsafe. The fences struck me right away. Nearly every house has a fence around it, most topped by barbed (and sometimes...

“Simply, water is surpassing oil itself as the world’s scarcest critical resource. Just as oil conflicts were central to twentieth-century history, the struggle over freshwater is set to shape a new turning point in the world order and the destiny of civilization” — Steven Solomon, Water   The Dam, located in the leafy Johannesburg suburb of...

The National Geographic Society and the U.S. Department of State today announced the five awardees selected for the third class of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship. The Fellowship provides a unique platform for U.S. Fulbright awardees to build awareness of transnational challenges, comparing and contrasting cross-border issues. Fellows will share their stories on National...