Meet Leon McCarron
We talked to writer, broadcaster and explorer Leon McCarron ahead of his Royal Georgraphical Society with IBG lecture at St George's Guildhall on Friday 3 November to find out a little more about him and discover what audiences can expect during his talk.
Tell us a bit about your background
I grew up in Northern Ireland, on farm, and left to England for university. I saved up to go on a long cycling trip after I graduated, and that led to my current career of storytelling, adventure and now journalism and hiking trail development.
What inspired you to undertake this source to sea journey along the river Tigris?
I had moved to Iraq, and was interested in the history of this river. It’s easy to forget that so much of our shared human history is held in this region, and that some of the earliest civilisations emerged on the banks of the Tigris. I also wanted to look at the present day reality, particularly for Iraq, and the impending crises facing the region. Travelling along the river seemed the best way to understand all of this.
You have been to some incredible places over the course of your career, are there any experiences which have stood out for you?
I love Iraq – both the south, and the cradle of civilisation area, including the vast marshlands, but also the northern Kurdistan region where I’ve been living for 4 years. The landscape is beautiful, and mountainous, and filled with deep layers of history, culture and faith.
What can audiences expect from your talk?
12,000 years of human history in under an hour! Plus beautiful imagery from Emily Garthwaite, and contemporary accounts of what life is really life in Iraq. I want to bring this fascinating, important place to life.
Is there a take home message that you would like audiences to come away with?
We may have forgotten, but we are intrinsically connected to the area the Greeks called Mesopotamia. It’s also facing a severe environmental crisis, which will ultimately affect us all, and there are actions we can take to help.
Hear Leon share stories from his incredible, beautiful and occasionally dangerous journey at St George's Guildhall on Friday 3 November at 7.30pm. Book tickets at https://uk.patronbase.com/_KLCE/Productions/2J3/Performances