Angelina Jolie shares her love for Namibia in intimate letter for Harper’s Bazaar

2017-10-12 09:23
angelina jolie

Cape Town – Angelina Jolie has shared her love for Namibia in an intimate letter for Harper’s Bazaar magazine’s 150th anniversary.

The actress/director/activist is the cover star of the magazine’s special issue and was photographed alongside orphaned cheetahs who were rescued from the wild and sponsored by the Jolie-Pitt family.

The shoot – by celeb and fashion photographer Alexi Lubomirski - took place at a nature reserve in Namibia’s Namib desert, run by the N/a’an ku sê Foundation, a foundation led by close friends of Angelina’s, Marlice and Rudie van Vuuren.

How women’s rights have changed

In her lengthy essay Jolie shares her thoughts on how women’s rights have changed over 150 years saying that she’d imagine if a woman in 1867 - who for example had no right to an education or a right to vote - could see how things have changed today “she’d be thankful”.

But in saying that, Angelina points out that she also wonders what a woman living in the 19th century would make of inequalities that still exist today.

“But I also wonder what that 19th-century woman would make of the inequality that still exists for tens of millions of women and girls around the world.”

Angie goes on to share a predicted statistic by the World Economic Forum that states: “It will take 83 years for the gaps in rights and opportunities between women and men to close in all countries.”

The First They Killed My Father director puts the stat into perspective by sharing a “beautiful aspiration” her mom taught her.

“My mother taught me the Iroquois saying, that we should consider the impact of our decisions upon the next seven generations. It is hard for us to be that thoughtful, with all the pressures in our lives, but it seems to me to be a beautiful aspiration.”

Falling in love with Namibia

For over a decade, Angelina and her family have had close ties with Namibia. Her 11-year-old daughter, Shiloh was born there but that’s not the only reason Angelina has such a passion for the southwest African country.

“For me, Namibia represents not only ties of family and friendship but also the effort to find the balance between humans and the environment so crucial to our future.”

Sharing her thoughts on our responsibility towards the environment, Angelina highlights how indigenous people have suffered “from being forced off their lands by farming, unchecked development, and the depletion of wildlife.”

The N/a’an ku sê Foundation is one that Angelina has worked closely with and which “works to preserve the natural habitat and to protect endangered species,” such as the cheetahs the 42-year-old is photographed with.

The animals were orphaned and rescued by her conservationist friends. Unfortunately they cannot return back to the wild as they have lost their fear of humans and risk being killed if they wonder onto farmland.

Angelina, however, maintains that these are not pets nor should animals like these ever be kept as pets. By saving the cheetahs, and every other wild animal they can, Angelina and her friends hope to “inspire people to help preserve these unique, majestic creatures in the wild, as just one of many steps to preserve the environment for future generations.”

Hopes for the next 150

Jolie concludes her intimate essay with what she hopes the next 150 years will bring.

“Over the next 150 years, technology is going to give us more and better means of communicating, fighting poverty, defending human rights, and caring for the environment. But it is what we choose to do with the freedom we have that will make all the difference.”

She adds: “If my life experience has taught me anything, it is that what you stand for, and what you choose to stand against, is what defines you.”

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