Vanity Fair – ‘Changing Your Mind Awards’

‘Look, See, Think Again’ the motto of Vanity Fair’s inaugural ‘Changing Your Mind Awards’ that we attended at The May Fair Hotel this month. Vanity Fair teamed up with Leica to recognise individuals who are literally changing our minds when we think about travel. Whether it’s through photos, accommodation, guided tours or food, these awards commend those who are uncovering new ways to see the world and changing our travel habits.


Each initiative is creative and inspiring and shows the motivation and determination that people will go to, to build awareness around an issue or a place that is dear to them. Below are the recipients of the awards:


Britta Jaschinski: The one we were most inspired by is a German-born, London-based photographer who uses her lens to document threatened wildlife. Her photography highlights the issue of the human demand for wildlife products which is pushing animals to the brink of extinction. Her portfolio includes images that are harrowing, almost paralysing: an orangutan in fancy dress at a circus, tigers in begging pose balanced on a stool. Her artful skill highlights that one photo can really change everything.


Others included Pía León and Virgilio Martínez, a Peruvian super chef couple who have set up several restaurants in Peru. Each restaurant reflects the biodiversity of that region, which is represented in in their extensive tasting menus.


Jo Buitendach set up a solo operator walking tour company which guides tourists, locals and school groups, through the streets of Johannesburg. Showing them that Joburg is a place of hope and has many different places to explore; printmaking workshops, the street art, the tattoo studios, the graffiti.


Janni Widerholm has created a rental site for sustainable properties—with the goal to canvas the all-powerful Airbnb to add an extra “sustainable” tab to its drop-down menu, if this happens she will close this company.


Mumbai born, Jamshyd Sethna has setup a luxury homestay company in the Indian Himalayas, amongst many other initiatives. Encouraging people to get out into the wilderness in the country’s less-travelled regions, and to immerses fully in their culture and traditions.