Photo by Paul Solapeck
While reading the new issue of National Geographic this morning, I really enjoyed the cover article about the journey that Paul Solapek is currently on – walking from Ethiopia to the southern tip of South America. This will be an amazing thing to follow over the Internet, and the official site can be found here. Within the site, there’s a very cool interactive map charting his progress so far, and in which you can view all of the dispatches he’s made so far. I’m absolutely fascinated at the thought of following this journey over the next seven years.
Paul Salopek’s Out of Eden world walk is an exercise in slow journalism. Moving at the slow beat of his footsteps, Paul is engaging with the major stories of our time—from climate change to technological innovation, from mass migration to cultural survival—by walking alongside the people who inhabit them every day. As he traverses the globe from Africa to South America, he is revealing the texture of the lives of people he encounters: the nomads, villagers, traders, farmers, and fishermen who never make the news.
National Geographic is publishing Paul’s dispatches in the form of words, photos, and sometimes audio or video. Once a year, a full-length feature story relating to the walk will appear in National Geographic magazine.
When his seven-year journey ends, Paul will have created a global mosaic of stories, faces, sounds, and landscapes highlighting the pathways that connect us to each other—a unique archive of our shared humanity at the start of a new millennium.
In the desert of western Saudi Arabia. Photograph by Paul Salopek