Photo by Gaelle Wg

May 2017

Currently: about to embark on another, largely overland, extended trip, through Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan; thereafter, I will fly to Tanzania, climb Mt Kilimanjaro and return to Malawi. Available for freelance writing assignments.

This website is a portfolio of my writing, as well as some (amateur) photography. That which falls under the ‘Conversations from the Road’ subsection is a collection of my narrative travel writing, written for my own amusement. That which is under ‘Writing Portfolio’ is work I have been commissioned for.

In the past, my focus has been on travel, through a trip to Uganda and a Cape-Cairo public transport overland journey. Since then, I have tried to incorporate a focus on (a broad array of) human rights in my writing. This has led to a job for Justice and Peace Netherlands in the Hague, coordinating a training course for human rights defenders on security, a position on Index on Censorship’s Youth Advisory Board, discussing issues of freedom of expression, and finally to volunteer work in Lesvos, Greece and Izmir, Turkey, working to alleviate the current refugee crisis.

To begin, it is important that I recognise and acknowlege the perspective from which I am working and writing. It is undeniable that my voice, that of the constructed white male, is one that has been unfairly overexposed for hundreds of years. We, meaning society, particularly in my context as a (self-proclaimed?) South African, are long past the point where other voices, previously and currently oppressed voices, need to be raised above my own.

Admittedly, much of my previous writing does not reflect this recognition or acknowledgement. The intersectional arrogance and privilege of my whiteness, and maleness, is painfully prevelant in many places. However, in an effort at honesty and for the sake of learning/unlearning (for myself, and perhaps for others), I have left this writing unedited. Going forward, such as with my writing on volunteer work in Lesvos, I hope to rectify this.


How do I perceive myself?

This is what I hope to see: firstly, a human, one of many, all of whom share the same Earth; secondly, a writer; thirdly, an adventurer, and in that way a learner and a teacher.

Through my writing on travel and on human rights, I have placed an emphasis on people and on conversations. I believe that the best way to learn, and to teach, is through conversation. This could be as fleeting as an acknowledgement or a well-placed smile, or it could be as dangerously opportunistic as a three-hour discussion on life and all its fascinating intricacies with the stranger at the end of the bar. I also believe that the best way to learn is through observations and reflections on that which is around us: nature, and all its equally as fascinating intricacies. In this way, we learn, and teach, through conversations with ourselves.

This is perhaps, in many ways, a personal journey of constant education, but I hope you might engage and learn/unlearn with me along the way.

Simeon Gready