The title “Two Worlds” comes from the idea of a ‘first’ and ‘third’ world existing in the same place. Last summer I travelled to South Africa with a UK-based volunteering programme. When I arrived I wasn’t struck by the presence of impoverished communities. What impacted me, however, was the proximity of these communities to the South African ‘first world’.

This is the basis for the logo [right], which attempts to depict this concept. One side is populated with what many would consider to be a developed city, home to bright lights, hi-rise buildings and corporate chains. The other side is rural and poor, with only densely-packed shacks, mud and grass. Most importantly, however, is that these two ‘worlds’ are separated by nothing more than a road, much like the reality in South Africa and many other ‘developing’ countries.

As Stephen Fry importantly highlights in this episode of the BBC’s ‘QI’: “One of the things that appears to be a great index of happiness, is not wealth itself, but a lack of huge disparity between rich and poor. That in countries where there isn’t really much of a gap, where there isn’t that kind of differential, it seems people are happier. Even in the last 13/14 years Britain, the gap has widened considerably, 10% since ’97 when John Major’s government ended – the gap between rich and poor has widened.” He goes on to say “The fact is that all the surveys indicate that economic equality is what brings the greatest good for the greatest number.”

I closely-documented my 87 days of travel in an online journal, which is now available on this website. I speak of many different experiences, what they meant and how they impacted me. Beyond keeping a journal, I wanted this to be a resource and reference, to help myself and others contextualise what would later become “Two Worlds”, the documentary-film.

Two Worlds: The Documentary

I didn’t travel to South Africa with the intention of making a documentary. Whilst I was there, I met many amazing individuals who assisted me in innumerable ways. I didn’t want to waste this experience, and so I utilised whatever I had available to start documenting my experiences.

Upon my return to the UK, the project quickly evolved. I now wanted to create a feature-length documentary film, complimented by a website which could house further information and pointers for progression. I developed my ideas and before long was arranging interviews with intellectuals, scholars and alike. In total, I now have around 30 hours of footage consisting of 23 interviews – 14 filmed in the UK and 8 in South Africa – and general footage shot in South Africa.

The documentary questions why South Africa has one of the greatest divides between rich and poor in the world, and ultimately attempts to use South Africa as an example of global inequality. It is important to note that the widening gap between rich and poor is not specific to ‘developing’ countries like South Africa, and that poverty is certainly present in the ‘first world’. The documentary therefore attempts to address these questions specific to South Africa, but carries messages which universally address global inequality.

Enjoy the documentary, and explore the website to learn more about global inequality and what you can do to address it.