World Citizen is an interactive multimedia experience which aims to explore the human race through travel, visual media and journalism.
Brazil: Part 1 - Afro-Brazilian Culture in Salvador
Brazil is known to be one of the most sought-after travel destinations on Earth. Iconic beaches, mountains, and landmarks dot the horizon of this massive country. However, the part of Brazil that most people don't know about is the Afro-Brazilian culture brought by 500 years of colonization and slavery. In the city of Salvador, Bahia, it has developed into its own unique subculture of Brazil's diverse ethnic landscape. Paulo Rogerio, an entrepreneur and social activist, told us about its unique cultural makeup, which can be seen in various aspects of everyday life in Salvador.
Capoeira is a style of martial art that originated in Salvador. It combines the rhythmic movements of traditional African dance with the hard-hitting reality of a serious fighting style. I joined a class to see if I could compete with the locals. After working up an appetite, the crew went to eat at one of Salvador's critically acclaimed but little-known dining spots for an Afro-Brazilian meal reminiscent of some African-American soul food.
Brazil: Part 2 - Beaches, Cuisine, and Music of Salvador
Everybody knows about the beautiful beaches in Brazil but not everybody knows about the stories behind them. A small stretch of sand in the Salvador neighborhood of Baha is routinely ranked on the world's top beaches list. Porto da Barra is a bustling neighborhood beach with a strong tie to Brazil's history. It was one of the first places Europeans landed when they came to this land, making it an integral part of Salvador's identity.
Similar to the beach culture, music is one of the pillars of this community. A local band called Biana System is one of the strongest examples of cross-cultural exchange in the form of music combining reggae, hip-hop, rock and roll, and traditional local sounds for an energy-filled musical experience you have to see to believe. For an unexpected look at the local sports culture, we headed to a skateboard park to speak with Nilzete Santos, the owner of Afrotours in Salvador. She explained the changing tide of culture hitting the historic city.
South Africa: Part 1 - Johannesburg, Soweto, and Franschhoek Wine Country
South Africa is a place full of human history, natural beauty and diverse culture. Cape Town and other cities have become top travel destinations. People come from around the world to see its majestic mountains and beaches. Other cities are known for being ground zero for the struggle of human rights. Johannesburg is rapidly becoming an eclectic center for art and commerce. Civil Rights hero Nelson Mandela called Johannesburg home for many years. You can get an inside look at his life and accomplishments at the Apartheid Museum.
One of South Africa's favorite pastimes is called a braai, which is where local game meats are cooked on an open fire and enjoyed with a group of people. The braai is very similar to American barbecue. Wine has also become a staple in this industry. Over 300 years of history have been bottled in the region of Franschhoek. We explored what wine means to the South African economy and how its culture is changing.
South Africa: Part 2 - Cape Town, Muizenberg, and Marakele National Park
Cape Town is the crown jewel of South Africa with some of the most stunning landscapes you will ever see. This is a unique city with a lot of history. However, in recent years, the beginning of a massive drought has brought this city to its knees. With strict regulations now in place, residents are in limbo about the future of the city's water supply. Despite this, the spirit of the people has endured. Travel experts Omphile Setiloane and Jessica Nabongo took us to one of the seaside towns outside of Cape Town for a taste of a local staple.
With the shocking news of the last male white rhino, conservation becomes the focal plane and one of the main conversations in and around South Africa. We went to Marakele National Park to see the white rhino's distant relative--the black rhino--in the wilds of an African safari. The crew saw elephants, lions, giraffes, and many more animals before getting a flat tire. We had to exit the vehicle while the jeep was fixed during some suspenseful few minutes.
Immigrants of Berlin
For the last half century, Germany has been making amends for is past. The evidence of this is in its immigration policy. Turning a blind eye to hate and bigotry, the Germans have welcomed refugees from areas in the Middle East and other war-torn regions of the world. These immigrants have, in turn, contributed to the wave of cultural diversity many countries in Europe are experiencing. In Berlin, I met a few residents of diverse backgrounds enjoying some beer on a sunny day.
The conversation turned to Germany's growing Arab population. So I headed to the Spree River to have a conversation with two immigrants from the Middle East who told me about their experience in Deutschland and their hopes and dreams to one day return to the region they are from.
About 200 miles north of Berlin, resting on the banks of the Elbe River, is the port city of Hamburg. Dating back to Medieval Times, Hamburg is now the second-largest city in Germany and has become an epicenter of trade and commerce in a country that is already on the rise. Sometimes overshadowed by the capital Berlin, Hamburg has no shortage of creatives and trendsetters.
I met with one of these trendsetters in a trendy neighborhood where she owns woman's boutique with enormous potential. Anna Paul operates Paul & Piske, a clothing store that caters to very tall women. We talked about fashion and accessibility. Then I went across town to meet with a fashion photographer who travels around the world in pursuit of two-wheel adventure. Carlos Fernandez Laser has been a professional fashion and lifestyle photographer in Hamburg for many years. But he told me his real passion is cycling. Part business and part pleasure, photographing motorcycle and bicycle riders is Carlos's life's work.
Germany is a country with a tremulous past, and its capital city of Berlin is no exception. Divided by the infamous Berlin Wall and immortalized by the effort to bring it down, Berlin has changed a lot since those darker days. Street art and graffiti has replaced the oppressive feel of the city. An influx of immigrants has changed the demographic of the city. I went to the eclectic east side to an area called Friedrichschain to meet one of the city's artists and talk art, immigration, and where Berlin is going.
Then I went across town to a famous plaza called Alexanderplatz, one of the city's biggest transit hubs. Alexanderplantz shows a cross-section of the German population: music, food, and shopping are the main draws here. I found a traveling artist who goes all over Europe to paint surrealists drawings on walls, roads, and sidewalks. As crowds gathered, I got his take on life and art.
London: Part 1
Few cities in the world are like New York. London is one of them. But this old city is undergoing a few changes. Recent events on the political landscape have altered a great many people's perception of a globally progressive world and what that means to them.
London, having seemingly embraced this global mentality while the rest of England has voted otherwise, challenges the notion of what "traditional culture" looks like as it collides with immigration, arts, and a renovated look. Fitz found out about the lot. He spoke with a native Londoner about what he has experienced in a neighborhood that has seen the best and worst of times. Jack the Ripper used the back alleys of Spitalfields to do his dastardly deeds in the dark of the London nights.
London: Part 2
From castles to pre-Victorian townhouses to futuristic conceptual architecture: the skyline of London has been changing and changing fast. Both impressive and oppressive, the sight of a massive stone castle conjures memories of our childhood fairytales and our historical intrigue. These giant fortresses have been a part of London's history for a thousand years.
Today, with hundreds of new projects on the horizon, good ole'"Londontown" may look a bit different in the years to come. Fitz Henley talked to international architect Michael Sims Jr. about the recent building boom and the responsibilities architects have in a rapidly growing society.
Bimini is the closest Island Bahamas to the United States, as well as one of the smallest inhabited islands. Just less than 10 miles long with a population of around 2,000, Bimini is a far cry from the larger and more well-known islands like Nassau or Grand Bahama. From pirate hideout to game fishermen's heaven, Bimini packs a lot of history into a small package. Fitz Henley explored the island and surrounding waters for what make this place the hidden gem it is.
Thailand: Part 1
Fitz Henley travels to the well-known, yet still mysterious, country of Thailand. Not knowing what he'll find when he arrives, he quickly learns that the recent passing of the beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, lay heavy on the hearts and minds of the nation. Fitz explores the Kings reign and finds a life dedicated to the betterment of his people.
Despite being one of the wealthiest monarch in the world, King Bhumibol is best known for his work in the fields and rural areas of the country and discovering ways to help the less fortunate among his kingdom. "Jazzy", a tourism manager from the southern Provence of Kabi, tells Fitz about the kings devoted life's work and and why his people adore him.
Thailand: Part 2
The city of Bangkok is one of the most exciting places on earth. It is a global powerhouse renowned for its street food, cheap massages, and a nightlife that rivals that of any major city. Fitz Henley highlights the sights and sounds of this city with his normal "go anywhere" and "do anything" mentality. Sticking his feet in a tank of flesh eating fish is just the start of his "Temple Hunt" through the country.
Fitz explores some of the regions numerous ancient ruins, before stopping at 3 very different and unique temples. One of which takes him through the crowded waterways of Damnoen Saduak, where he explores the "Original" Floating Market.
Thailand: Part 3
Fitz Henley takes a look at the food of Thailand.