Actress, filmmaker and humanitarian, Angelina Jolie, pens a letter from Namibia for the special 150th Anniversary collector’s edition of Harper’s BAZAAR. In this letter, Angelina shares her thoughts on women’s rights today and our responsibility toward each other and our environment. The key message of Angelina’s piece is to keep the wild in the wild: Wildlife belong in the wild, and need our respect and protection. She also makes the case for finding a balance between humans and nature as a critical part of future rights for women—and in light of the breaking news aboutwomen’s rights, Angelina’s message on women’s rights and equality is more important than ever.

 The photo shoot took place at a wildlife sanctuary in Namibia, the N/a’an ku sê Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by Angelina’s friends of 16 years, Marlice and Rudie van Vuuren. N/a’an ku sê provides a safe haven and second chance for countless injured, orphaned, and conflict animals. Only animals too ill, abused or habituated remain at the sanctuary. This is done purely for their safety and survival chances, particularly vital for big cats. The release of carnivores, including cheetahs and leopards, is a top priority at N/a’an ku sê. Orphaned animals are raised with dedication, in an environment where their natural behaviors are nurtured and encouraged.

 Angelina is photographed with animals that have been rescued by N/a’an ku sê, three of these in particular being very special to her: Three orphaned rescued cheetahs that have been sponsored by Angelina and her family since they were tiny cubs in 2015. She has done this to bring attention to the impact of our choices on the environment and wildlife, and the dangers of poaching and the demand for products made from wild animals.

 The family Foundation, the Jolie-Pitt Foundation, has worked for over a decade in Namibia. Their support includes funding a clinic and school for local San people, and conservation programs to protect endangered wildlife like cheetahs, elephant and rhino, run by N/a’an ku sê. The family’s work in Namibia is part of their family’s wider support for conservation. On this visit, Angelina and Shiloh opened a new clinic for wounded and orphaned elephant and rhino, the Shiloh Wildlife Sanctuary, funded by the family foundation. In Cambodia, the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation helps protect some 60,000 hectares of the last intact tropical forest in the Cardamom mountains and its wildlife; it funds and supports local rangers and border patrols to combat poaching and illegal logging. It also supports and funds schools and healthcare programs for the local community.


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

 On our individual and collective impact on the environment: “Fashion was once a major factor in encouraging the demands for clothes, jewelry or objects made from wildlife parts. But magazines can now send a different message: that wild animals belong in the wild, and ivory is not beautiful unless on the tusk of a living animal…Each of us has the power to make an impact through our everyday choices. For instance, we can commit to never buying illegal wildlife products such as ivory and rhino horn. We can end the demand for wild animals as pets.”

 On the link between the environment and women’s rights: “Women make up most of the world’s poor…when the environment is damaged—for example when fishing stocks are destroyed, wildlife is killed by poachers, or tropical forests are bulldozed—it deepens their poverty. Women’s education and health are the first things to suffer.”

 On what her life experience has taught her: “If my life experience has taught me anything, it is only what you stand for, and what you choose to stand against, that defines you. As the San people say: you are never lost if you can see your path to the horizon.”


Dress: Ralph Lauren Collection

Sandals: K. Jacques

Blouse: Gabriela Hearst

Earrings: Jolie’s own

Dress rings, earrings, belt, boots: Dior

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