Couple’s ‘crazy life’ leads to oceans of inspiration
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A two-year expedition taking in about 42 countries has inspired a cross-continental marine exhibition, Moving Sushi.
The display, now on at the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront, celebrates the efforts of those making a difference in marine conservation, in spite of global challenges such as overfishing and illegal poaching that are threatening fish stocks. It showcases the work of South Africans Mike Markovina, 30, and Linda Schonknecht, 26, who drove from Cape Town to Japan and back in 2008.
“I was amazed by how inspired and energetic some of the people we met were, making do with few or no resources available,” Markovina said of the people encountered on the journey, which included 24 plane trips and driving more than 78 000km in a 4x4 bakkie that doubled as their home.
Other modes of transport they used included rickshaws, car ferries and motorcycles.
Driven by their passion for protecting the marine environment, the pair travelled to many countries, including Namibia, Senegal, Morocco, Norway, India and Japan.
Harsh weather, communicating in foreign languages, malaria, tyre blow-outs, visa issues and demands for bribes were some of the difficulties they faced.
“We lived a crazy life, surviving on minimal necessities,” Markovina said.
“That made us appreciate the little things that count.”
The pair, graduates of Rhodes University, have documented on video and in photographs the inspirational stories of people of different cultures and religions who have shown that, with lateral thinking and by fostering a good understanding with their communities, it is possible to turn around a system that is failing.
Markovina said that fish represented livelihoods, finances and food security for many people across the globe.
“And if these issues are not considered by scientists and managers, our fisheries are doomed.”
Markovina hoped that visitors would enjoy getting a taste of the enthusiasm for change “that we have had the privilege to witness”.
l The exhibition runs until September. - Independent Cadet News Agency