September 24, 2019, by Lindsay Brooke
Journey through the Malaysian rainforest with award-winning photojournalist
The social media accounts of MEME – Management and Ecology of Malaysian Elephants – have been taken over for the culmination of a special project which will take us on a fascinating journey through Malaysia’s rainforest.
Ghaneshwaran Balachandran is an award-winning photojournalist and visual artist who documents natural history, conservation and environmental subjects. His aim is to implement visual art and literature to bridge the intricate relationship between people and the planet, while walking with organisations and movements.
A walk on the wild side
In June 2019, Ghanesh decided to take a path less travelled and joined MEME’s team in the field to document their research and conservation initiative in Malaysia’s rainforest.
MEME is a research project based at the University of Nottingham Malaysia. Led by Principal Investigator, Dr Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz , the team works in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (Perhilitan) and the Ministry of Land, Water and Natural Resources (KATS) of Malaysia.
The 160,000 hectare forest of Ulu Muda is one of the key study sites for MEME’s research on wild Asian elephant population. Dr Campos-Arceiz said: “These forests are rich in biodiversity and provide us precious ecosystem services, particularly water supply to homes, paddy fields, and industries in Kedah, Penang, and Perlis. It is important that Ulu Muda’s forest, its biodiversity, and the services it provides, is protected for generations to come.”
Social media take over
For the next few weeks, Ghanesh has taken over MEME’s social media accounts to reveal the first series of his photo-story from Ulu Muda. Look out for his pictures from the rainforest of Ulu Muda, its magnificent elephants and other residents. They will also include behind-the-scenes conservation research work. Ghanesh warmly invites MEME supporters and members of the public to engage with him and be part of the series, as he recaps his journey, picture by picture.
Ghanesh said, ”Life and its timeless history is embedded deep within the elements of this surreal topography. I want my images and narratives to evoke senses, unlock aesthetics and add relevance to the dialogue. For every inhabitants in Ulu Muda must be nurtured.”
Dr. Wong Ee Phin, Deputy Principal Investigator for MEME, said: “We are glad to work with Ghanesh and his team, to promote the beauty of Ulu Muda to the public and to share the work that MEME is doing in the field. Together with Friends of Ulu Muda, we are advocating for the protection of this beautiful and important forest landscape. Through the photographs and Ghanesh’s story-telling creativity. we hope to engage with the members of the public and inspire more to support the cause.”
Follow Ghanesh on his journey:
Facebook – MEME
Twitter – @MEME.elephants
Instagram – ghaneshwaran