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  • Writer's pictureEstefania Arrocet

Photographers perspective, Q&A with Dan Lior

Updated: May 21, 2021

“The friendliest & most beautiful African country I've had the honour to visit. I had quite a few projects all over Africa, but Zambia is by far my favourite country”

Dan Lior came to Zambia in April of 2018 to shoot a film in collaboration with The Safari Company and the Zambian Ministry of Tourism. The film focused on the Koumbouka Ceremony and the people of Zambia. He spent 10 days traveling all over the country and to date, it's one of his favourite experiences ever!

What is the lasting impression that remains with you following your work around the Kuomboka Ceremony?

The Koumbouka ceremony was such an exciting event to witness. During my travels, I get to meet and immerse myself in so many cultures. Each culture has its own traditions which they are proud of. But what I absolutely loved about my experience in Zambia is that during the Koumbouka there were barely any foreign tourists and yet, all the thousands of people that were there were genuinely thrilled with excitement! It made me feel as if this wasn't an exhibition or a show for tourists, and it sure wasn't. It was a truly incredible and authentic experience that I'll remember for the rest of my life. The Lozi have been practicing the Koumbouka for hundreds of years and it truly does show during the ceremony.

If you come back to Zambia in 2021, what would you like to make a story about?

What I would absolutely love to explore is the anti-poaching efforts made by the Zambian government. I recently read an article that a few ranger programs have been using dogs in the efforts to fight poachers. I admire that a lot of African governments understand how precious and vital their wildlife is. And how important it is to preserve the wildlife and learn how to co-exist with these magnificent creatures. But I would also love to explore the stories of the people from Zambia, I'm always after stories that people can identify with. In the end, I believe we humans are alike. We all share the same emotions, thoughts, worries. As a species, we have monumental unifiers such as family and love for nature and I think that films are the best way to transmit those understandings across the world. It's the only true way to make a person far away feel as if he visited another country and experienced its culture and all it has to offer.

How do you describe Zambia to friends and family that have not visited us yet?

The friendliest & most beautiful African country I've had the honor to visit. I had quite a few projects all over Africa, but Zambia is by far my favorite country.

What do you think of Discover Zambia?

I think the effort in promoting Zambia through the new media is absolutely the way to go. It's a great way to share information with the world. The account has been doing exceptional work sharing photographs and films promoting the country. I absolutely loved the long influencer campaign it ran during 2020. It really gave us an "escape" from our confined apartments and into the beauty of Zambia as seen from the lenses of many photographs.

From a photographer/videographers POV: any comments on the equipment that you used to shoot here and what would you love to shoot in for a future project.

For "Zambezi - Children of the River" I've used a Canon 1DX Mark II. It's an excellent camera, perfect for run & gun travel films and photographs. My last project was shot during 2018 so I would guess that my next one would be using much more advanced gear. Maybe a cine-camera

To watch his incredible work around the Kuombouka Ceremony, see here: Zambezi - Children of the River:

To Follow Dan Lior:

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