Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The BBC Celebrates Sir Wilfred Thesiger

Wilfred Thesiger in Ethiopia 1934 (Courtesy The BBC)
For historical buffs and admirers of adventurers/explorers, here's a BBC feature that will please you.

Sir Wilfred Thesiger took nearly 40,000 photographs during his eight decades of travels throughout Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The BBC, in commemoration of his centenary of his birth, has featured an audio slideshow of his photographs.

Thesiger is best known for two travel books. Arabian Sands (1959) narrates his travels in the Empty Quarter of Arabia between 1945 and 1950 and describes the vanishing way of life of the Bedouins, while he Marsh Arabs (1964) is an account of the indigenous people of the marshlands of southern Iraq. 

From an article 'Gentleman Thrillseeker 'in the Independent newspaper:
Since 1930 Thesiger had documented his journeys in photographs, diaries, and letters to his family. Many of his finest photographs were taken, after 1945, in Arabia and Iraq; he took thousands more, just as fine, in the mountains of Asia, Morocco, Kenya and Tanzania. Thesiger's photographs have long been regarded as works of art in their own right; they also preserve a unique and imperishable record of vanishing tribal societies.

Thesiger was an intriguing say the least. There are plenty of articles and opinions pieces about him and his life.

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