MARIE Colvin, the celebrated Sunday Times war correspondent, spoke at Beyond Borders in 2011. Less than a year later she was killed in Syria.

Her life will be remembered at this year's festival through the eyes of her biographer, award-winning journalist Lindsey Hilsum.

Lindsey is the International Editor for Channel 4 News and has covered countless conflicts over the last 20 years.

She has put herself in dangerous situations to write “the first draft of history”, including being in Belgrade during the 1999 NATO bombing, and being the only English-speaking reporter in Rwanda when the genocide began.

And she was with fellow foreign correspondent Marie Colvin in Jenin, on the occupied West Bank, as the Israelis were besieging it in 2002.

In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin will be the subject of Lindsey’s talk at Beyond Borders this weekend.

Her biography aims to recount the bravery and behind the scenes emotions of her friends tumultuous, challenging life.

The striking photograph of Colvin on the cover of the book was taken during a previous Beyond Borders visit in 2011.

Lindsey told the Peeblesshire News that she has never been to the Borders before but is excited to visit the area.

Lindsey told us: “Beyond Borders has an amazing mixture of stimulating people who have many interesting views to share.

“All fields are covered from journalism to music and it is all located in a beautiful setting.

“Marie was there as a guest speaker in 2011 but had to suddenly leave when news broke of the fall of Gadhafi in Libya.

“As an international reporter news stories often get in the way of your plans, but we all know it comes with the job.”

While in Sri Lanka in 2001, Marie was hit by a grenade and lost the sight in her left eye resulting in her trademark eye patch.

She reported from the most dangerous places in the world, fractured by conflict and genocide, going in deeper and staying longer than anyone else.

And while reporting, she was killed in Syria in 2012 during a targeted attack on journalists. Her death was widely reported upon due to the extreme circumstances.

However, Lindsey is determined to make sure Marie is remembered for her amazing life not just her final story.

“Marie was an amazing woman and one who I share many memories with.

“I have got to know my friend better in death than I did in life.

“I had never known she kept a diary from the age of 13 and that she had her rebellious side from when she was young.

“Marie would wear a mini skirt to church and used to sneak out of her house to meet her boyfriend.

“However, her boyfriend said when she wasn’t being naughty, she was studying and working hard. She also was very diligent and made sure she and those around her were recycling.

“The rebellion, diligence and social conscience meant she really had all the key characteristics of a great foreign correspondent from a young age, I think that really allows people to get to know her as a person.”

“Marie’s death became such a big moment, but I wanted people to know who she was and how funny she was.

“One of my favourite memories with her was during an Amnesty conference when we were answering questions on a platform.

“One reporter stood up and asked our most dreaded question ‘How do you cope with the pressure’ Marie just looked at me and said, ‘Lindsey and I, we go to bars and we drink’.

“She didn’t mind being politically incorrect, she was just honest and that’s what I loved.”

Through the horrors and pessimism in our world today it is often hard to find any reason for optimism, but Lindsey is not so sure.

She commented: “In extreme situations you often witness the best of humanity come out during the worst of times.

“All around you are acts of extraordinary heroism as people are determined to look after each other.

“You often come across women trying to save their own and other people’s children as it is their natural instinct to protect them.

“Or in the case of refugees who always band together to help carry the disabled or frail to safety.

“Marie is a great example of endless selfless bravery as she stayed in a UN compound to protect those inside as she knew she was in effect a human shield from the danger in the streets.”

“She is truly an emblem for adventurous women, but her story really gives an insight into her always putting the story ahead of her own wellbeing.

“The book is a cautionary tale for young people looking to pursue a career like Marie’s to take better care of themselves than she did of herself.”

Lindsey studied French and Spanish at the University of Exeter but when she was asked to go and teach English in her third year, she had other plans.

She began to volunteer with Oxfam and went out to Guatemala as an aid worker.

She added: “I was not a lot of use; I wasn’t a doctor. All I do is read and write but I definitely learnt a lot.”

From there she volunteered in Africa before getting into journalism and explained to us how there is a big difference from the career then and now: “Today’s journalists need to be able to research, shoot stories, edit them and get them out on social media as the need for technical skills are becoming more prominent.

“Anyone looking into a career in the media needs to have more than just literacy skills as the distinction between TV, online and newspaper reporting becomes less obvious.”

Lindsey will be interviewed by Razia Iqbal on the last day of the Beyond Borders festival where the audience can discuss the story of the most daring war reporter of her age.

This year, Beyond Borders International Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a weekend of panel discussions and debates exploring world cultures and new ideas.

Everyone is welcome to come and meet authors, artists and diplomats and get an insight into the most pressing issues of today’s world.

Lindsey’s talk at Beyond Borders will take place on Sunday, August 25 at 4pm.

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