The Last of the Reindeer Herders: Al Jazeera, Witness 29-30th Oct ’09 27Oct09

Sorry for the radio silence – but thank you to everyone who’s been checking in as to my whereabouts! Flattered that anyone’s interested – but I’ve been working on something that I can’t really talk about just yet… Hopefully soon and you’ll be the first to know….

Just a quick heads up though if you happen to near a screen over the next few days (Thursday & Friday this week), a documentary film I made about the Sami Reindeer Herders struggle for survival is coming up on Witness, Al Jazeera English… Shoot beautifully in tough arctic conditions by brilliant Toby Paton. Hope you can watch it. Will post up links to youtube etc when it’s online… Will be in touch with more info soon, I promise! Xx Olly ….

The Last of the Reindeer Herders
Chronicling the struggle of Lapland’s Sami people, facing a challenge to their right to use ancient grazing land. Anders Kroik, one of the last of the Sami reindeer herders in Lappland must herd his reindeer to their winter grazing land or they would starve in an environment of minus 30 degrees, but for the past few years these forests have been at the front-line in the Sami’s battle for survival. Many of the traditional winter grazing grounds are now privately owned, and while the owners argue that reindeer cause damage to land they legitimately purchased decades ago, the Sami argue they have been herding reindeer in these forests for thousands of years. It has been a war of attrition accompanied by crippling legal bills for the indigenous Sami against the colonising forces of the Swedish settlers. If the Sami are unable to continue to use these final winter grazing area, reindeer herding will be brought to a forcible end.

WITNESS on Al Jazeera English

Thursday, October 29: 0830 and 1900; GMT
Friday 30th October: 0330, 1400 and 2330. GMT

12 Responses to “The Last of the Reindeer Herders: Al Jazeera, Witness 29-30th Oct ’09”

  1. Reena Says:

    Hi Olly,

    Welcome back. I hope you had a great time doing whatever you were doing.
    Hopefully your time away will give us another adventure we can enjoy.
    I purchased the new DVD, living with the Machiguenga. I was hoping that it would have more behind the scenes, but watching the DVD on blue ray was great.

    Wishing you health, happiness, love & wealth

  2. Christine Says:

    Hi Olly,

    Just wondering if this show will be aired in the States? Also wondering when you and Mark will head back to the jungle. We miss your tribe show.


  3. Lolita Says:


    Sorry for the where the hell are you comment. Nice to know you are working. When will Living With the Mechaganga(sp?) dvd be released. I have the other two, love them. Love to see the soft vulnerable side of you.


  4. Lolita Says:




  5. Carmen Says:

    Well, my goodness, I thought we might never hear from you. :o} It’s good to see life on your site again. I can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on.

    Some time back I recall watching your Reindeer Herders piece. Is this the same one? It’ll be nice to see it on something other than the 3×4 little “window”.

    Take Care, Carmen

  6. Tan Says:

    Hi, Olly
    Welcome back! Just in time for Halloween next week, now you can let loose ;) Will try to watch the last of Sami Reindeer Herder, I just hope we can see it from the U.S. I remember last time, we have to waited to see through UTube, when you did the show about the N. Korea. Feel a lots better now that you back, don’t have to wonder where you at or if you doing ok. I will let you have time to relax before the question start. I guess I can speak for everyone that we all miss you. Take care of yourself, have a cup of you Earl Gray tea, put your foot up, and relax you deserve it :) Tan.

  7. Lolita Says:

    Olly only one foot to put up. Lost the other?


  8. Tan Says:

    Lolita! Only one foot because Olly seems to be on the go all the times. I don’t think he can put he feet up and really relax that would drive him crazy ;) Tan.

  9. admin Says:

    Hi Reena – hope you like the Machigenga films. As nuts as it sounds, I still haven’t seen the final edited films so I hope they’ve done a good job on them! Sorry there wasn’t more behind the scenes stuff – but let me know if you have any questions and I’ll always try to answer…

    Christine – sadly Al Jazeera isn’t carried in the states but it’s now on youtube if you want to see it there. Turns out Al Jazz recut it a bit, revoiced it with someone else and opened the film out a bit more than I would have liked – but hey, hopefully it will have it’s impact of raising awareness of the plight of the Sami. As for returning to the jungles – sorry but cant really talk about all that at the moment but will let you soon I promise!

    Carmen: yep – this 21minute version is an updated and longer version of the original news piece I did nearly 2 years ago. Hope you liked it and sorry it’s only on the small screen. The thing I’m working on at the moment will be on a big screen (although not The big screen!)

    bye for now, ollyx

  10. Carmen Says:

    Well, the youtube screen was bigger this time than last. So that was nice. I did try watching the other night on Al Jazeera, but the feed was of such poor quality I couldn’t even read the subtitles and the audio was garbled at times. The youtube version was much better, very nice. The footage was beautiful. The reindeer looked so light on their feet it almost looked as though they were floating on air when they ran. (I can see why we say they fly through the air pulling Santa’s sleigh after watching this) I was a bit surprised not to hear your voice though.

    That’s a tough situation that the Sami are in. It’s very hard to stop “progress”, but, we often don’t realize what we are giving up or losing in the process. I guess only time will tell what happens to them.

    Take care, Olly


  11. rachel Says:

    Please say that you and Mark A. plan another Trek. Any hope?

  12. Angela Says:

    Hi Olly,

    Welcome back! My husband and I have a bet to see who can guess which continent or can guess closest to where you and Mark went to film the fourth season of Living with the Tribe. I have a pretty big wager,(pair of shoes and matching handbag) so I really hope you don’t let me down!

    Good coverage on the Sami. I actually watched it a few months back on your website.

    Did a little reading on the Kombai this summer. They are still my favorite. No pressure, but when your ready to share your Kombai journals I’d be really interested in reading it.

    We’re looking forward to the new season!

    Take care.

    p.s. How’s the your book coming along? Anything?

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