In early 2013, National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek will set out on foot from the birthplace of humanity, the Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia, and walk in the footsteps of the first modern humans who left Africa to settle the unknown world.
This immense narrative journey spans roughly 50,000 years of human history and 22,000 miles of the planet’s surface—from our paleoanthropological “Eden” in East Africa north into the Levant; across the steppes of Central Asia to China; by sea from Siberia to Alaska; and then down the length of the Americas to the continental “Land’s End” of our species in Patagonia. This continuous walk will last seven years.
The goal of the world walk—and the Out of Eden project—is to slow readers down and allow them to reflect on current events as a form of pilgrimage. By using the history of our migration as a backdrop for international news, Salopek will examine the most important global stories of our day from ground level, at three miles an hour—walking into stories as diverse as human conflict and local innovations, mass migration and the Internet revolution, climate change and cultural survival. A worldwide audience is invited to “walk along” via quality Web reportage that includes articles, video, audio and blogs. Salopek is a National Geographic Fellow.
National Geographic and the Knight Foundation are funding the Out of Eden Walk's fieldwork and journalism. The walk's educational mission is supported by the Pulitzer Center. Find out more about the walk at http://www.outofedenwalk.com.