James Martin Brabazon

James under fire in in Liberia, just outside Monrovia.

Photograph by Tim Hetherington/Network Photographers

Biography

James Brabazon has worked as a frontline journalist for the last 10 years, travelling through Africa, Asia and the Americas, filming, producing and directing in the world's most hostile environments. Based in London, Brabazon specializes in conflict and restricted access scenarios. He has worked in over 50 countries including Afghanistan, the USA, Ecuador, Kashmir, Kosovo, Liberia and Zimbabwe.

After reading history at Cambridge, Brabazon became a contributing reportage photographer for Katz Pictures in London and Gamma Presse Images in Paris, before taking over as executive producer at the Nairobi-based television agency Camerapix.

His work for television has appeared on the BBC, CNN, SABC, ABC, SKY, TVNZ, Discovery Channel and ZDF. His writing has been published recently by The Saturday Times Magazine, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, The Scotsman Magazine, The Royal Institute of International Affairs and Harper Collin's The World's Most Dangerous Places. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Awards

Winner: The 2003 Rory Peck Trust Sony International Impact Award - Liberia: A Journey Without Maps.

Winner: The 2003 Rory Peck Trust Freelancer's Choice Award.

Winner: The News World Documentary Award 2003 - Liberia: A Journey Without Maps.

Nominee: The 2003 Rory Peck Trust Award for Hard News - Attack On Monrovia.

Nominee: The Royal Television Society International News Award 2003 - Liberia: A Journey Without Maps.

Nominee: 2003 One World Awards Best Television News Feature - Liberia: A Journey Without Maps

Production - Direction

BBC Current Affairs This World - Producer/DirectorAugust 2003 - February 2004

Holidays in the Danger Zone: The Violent Coast. A special four-part presenter-led documentary series, part of the BBC This World strand, filmed on location in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Benin and Nigeria. Political and cultural current affairs travelogue investigating the causes and effects of conflict in West Africa.

Shot, produced and directed four 39' films. Six-week research and pre-production period followed by 12 weeks on location. Field-work followed by postproduction, scripting and editorial assistance. Responsibilities also included talent direction and liaison, control and dispersal of field budget and risk assessment and management. TX BBC4, BBC2, BBC World March-June 2004.

Camerapix Kenya Executive Producer, August 1999 - August 2003

 

Liberia June - July 2003

International profile as the only journalist to have filmed the LURD rebel group fighting to overthrow President Charles Taylor prior to the August 2003 ceasefire. Over 5 months spent travelling with LURD on multiple news and documentary projects.

June 2003: Discovery Times Channel, In Pursuit of Liberty: Liberia's Civil War. Shot, produced and directed a commissioned 50' documentary of LURD rebel advance on Monrovia - the only journalist to do so. TX December 2003.

July 2003: BBC 6 News Special Report, Attack on Monrovia. Shot, produced, voiced, scripted and presented exclusive report of rebel attack on Monrovia. Material also used for a ZDF news special and BBC Newsnight. Rushes syndicated by APTN.

Live interviews: on location and UK. Eyewitness and expert reports for BBC World, BBC Breakfast News, CNNI, and BBC World Service.

 

USA January - February 2003

Discovery Channel, The World's Most Dangerous Places: USA. Shot, co-produced, and featured in a commissioned 50' documentary on the USA-Mexico border in Texas and Arizona. TX July 2003.

 

Liberia October 2002

Discovery Channel, The World's Most Dangerous Places: Liberia. Shot, produced and featured in a commissioned 50' documentary in rebel-held Liberia. TX May 2003.

 

Liberia May - August 2002

May 2002: first journalist to enter rebel-held territory in Liberia. 10 weeks spent with the rebels, filming them in heavy combat. Crossed clandestinely across Guinea border, and walked over 300 miles with the rebels documenting illegal weapons transactions and the impact of war on civilians.

 

Camerapix, Liberia: A Journey Without Maps. Produced, shot, scripted and directed a 32' film that aired to critical acclaim on SABC Special Assignment (November 2002), BBC Newsnight (January 2003) and CNN Insight (March 2003). Subsequent international syndication and worldwide broadcast

 

Zimbabwe March 2002

Camerapix - BBC Newsgathering: executive producer, responsible for coordinating and delivering entire BBC news coverage of Zimbabwe Presidential Elections. Banned in Zimbabwe, the BBC commissioned a semi-undercover Camerapix operation to provide 24-hour location TV and radio news coverage for domestic and world broadcast. Worked under constant threat of imprisonment. Coordinated four TV news crews, interviewed opposition leaders and investigated human rights and electoral fraud issues in Matabeleland.

 

Zimbabwe June - July 2000

Freelance news feature coverage of 2000 Parliamentary Elections for ABC (Australia), Sky News, Reuters, CNNI, BBC World, and SABC. Political interviews and analysis, economics and industry, rallies, farm occupations, refugees, political violence and arranging and maintaining access to MDC opposition party personnel. Production and research, substantial direction and scripting, filming, arranging interviews and debates (studio, sim sets and live broadcast), and briefing correspondents.

 

November 1999 - May 2000


Ethiopia May 2000: Short form news feature package documenting famine in the Borkena Valley. Exclusive access to areas not accessed by the media for over 15 years for ABC (USA), Reuters and World Vision: production, script, interviews and v/o. Kenya April 2000: News feature packages covering the CITES ivory conference in Nairobi and the cause and effect of elephant poaching in Kenya for CNNI, Reuters and BBC World: direction, production, presentation, script, interviews and v/o. Eritrea November 1999 - March 2000: Eritrean Relief and Refugee Commission (ERREC), The Forgotten: Directed, produced, scripted, and voiced a commissioned 13' feature on Eritrean refugees fleeing armed conflict with Ethiopia for the UN, OAU and EriTV.

Freelance Photography UK and International August 1994 - January 2001

All material represented by Katz Pictures (UK) and Gamma Presse Images (Worldwide).

EDITORIAL: Hunt Saboteurs - Disruption of Hunt; Guardian Angels - Bronx Patrol; Macedonia - Refugees and KFOR Deployment; Eritrea - War with Ethiopia; Kashmir - Mountain Warfare and Insurgency; Northern Ireland - Drumcree March; US Border Patrol - Air Rescue Unit; San Diego PD - Gang Suppression Unit; NYPD - Harlem Patrol; Snake Handling Preachers - Southern USA; Cherokee Indians - Reservation Life; Ivory Poaching- Kenya; Jungle Survival Training - Ecuador; Extreme Sports - Zambia; Desert Sports - Namibia; Crocodile Catching - Zimbabwe; British Army - Urban Warfare; Pakistan - Prelude to War; Afghanistan - Fighting the Taliban. NEWS & NGO: Kosovo - AP, Reuters, EPA, UNHCR, Save the Children, Children's Aid Direct, MSF; Israel - Amnesty International; Kashmir - Save the Children; Romania - Child Hope UK; Eritrea - Help Age International; PORTRAITURE: Studio and location portraiture including Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair and other leading personalities for the Saturday Times Magazine, Saturday Express, Financial Times, Labour Party and the University of Cambridge.

 

Writing and Radio

Features and analysis for The Independent on Sunday, The Guardian Weekend Magazine, The Times Magazine, The Scotsman Magazine, BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and The Royal Institute of International Affairs. Contributing Editor Harper Collins' The World's Most Dangerous Places.

Live and recorded radio broadcasts for BBC From Our Own Correspondent, BBC News Hour, BBC Network Africa, BBC Focus on Africa, BBC The World Today, PRI The World, Talk Sport Ian Collins Show, and SABC AM Live.

 

Education

MA History Class 2.1; Corpus Christi College, Cambridge (1991-1994); Specialized: British and African History, and History of Political Thought; Prizes: Boutwood Prize for Political Theory, 1994

 

Professional

Equipment: Canon XL1s, Sony PD100 and PD150, Canon EOS and Nikon photographic; Sound: Radio mics, mini disc and Cool Edit Pro; Lighting: Extensive experience of creative studio and location photographic and TV techniques; Lives: Various TV and radio, up to 60'; Languages: High standard written and spoken French; IT: PC and Mac; Transport: Clean drivers licence and extensive off-road experience, attended British Army's defensive driving course, experienced horseman; Travel: Worked and travelled in over 50 countries; Hostile Environments: Subscriber and contributor to AKE Global Intake, US Government's Department of Defense 5 day HE Training Course for Journalists, Quantico, VA, USA, February 2003, British Army trained, Jungle and arctic survival; extensive conflict/combat experience; Medical: BBC-sponsored 2 day AKE advanced medical course September 2003, field surgical experience, Murambinda Mission Hospital, Buhera, Zimbabwe 2000-1.

Personal: British - DOB 18.02.72, single.