Daniel Start
Agent(s): Mark Lucas
© Petra Kjell

In 1995 Daniel Start led the first expedition for more than eighty years to venture into the mountainous rainforest of Irian Jaya. He and his three Cambridge graduate companions were kidnapped by the primitive guerrillas they had come to work alongside, and spent 130 days in constant fear of their lives as captives in one of the most isolated and inaccessible landscapes on earth. Two of their fellow hostages were murdered during a botched Special Forces rescue and the rest of the group escaped.  Since his return, Daniel has campaigned for Papuan human rights, been involved in the making of several films and documentaries on the area and developed a career as an economist and anthropologist researching solutions to poverty, conflict and forest destruction, travelling and working across Africa and Asia.