26 Nov The Crowdfunding for HOPE
How did the project come about?
My basic idea two years ago was to give something back. It can be asserted without qualification that we in the western world have a very high standard of living and should be thankful to have been born in such a world – by no means are all people so lucky! For this reason, I contacted 10 aid organizations in 2014 and offered my help and support. I wanted to do what I could with my passion for photography to make a contribution toward a better world and assume social responsibility within reportage photography. After considerable research, I soon found a very special project. After that, I flew in January 2015 to the Philippines together with the action group children in need e.V. and visited their projects there with the children at the graveyards and rubbish dumps.
I can tell you that it was an unbelievable experience, with extremely sad but also beautiful moments, which massively influenced me and my outlook on life.
On the one hand, we visited local projects that had been running for just a few months or years, where you really saw absolute misery and poverty. Children sleep in cleared-out graves in the cemeteries and mausoleums. They live in 2x2m wooden shacks in dumps in the midst of foul odors, rubbish, rats and biomedical waste. Yet despite these appalling and scarcely imaginable circumstances, these children were so warm and open, so hopeful about a better life, that it can hardly be put into words. The hope and faith of these children are much greater than the world in which they live. On the other hand, we also visited projects where the action group has been involved for more than 30 years. It was fascinating for me to see that something has in fact changed there. Schools and hospitals have arisen, and agriculture is promoted and made more effective. Many lawyers, teachers and doctors have graduated from the schools, and they in turn have committed themselves to the region today. With all the skepticism that prevails nowadays regarding aid organizations, it was great to see that here helping people to help themselves actually works.
Why now crowdfunding through Kickstarter?
My plan is now to share my picture and my stories with the world through a touring exhibition and the accompanying exhibition catalogue and to show, on the one hand, the horrific living conditions of the children but also, on the other hand, their unshakable faith and their hope for a better life.
What happens with the money?
Since implementing such a project is at the moment very costly, I need your help. For the touring exhibition, 25 high-quality printed and framed art prints from Hahnemühle on Baryta paper are planned. The dimensions range from 70x50cm to 180x120cm. In addition to the exhibition itself, an exhibition catalogue (photo book) with a print run of 2000 copies is to be printed in high-quality Novaton.
The final design and the printing of the photo book will take place following the crowdfunding, and completion is planned for the early to mid-April 2016. With respect to the touring exhibition, I have already been in touch with numerous German and Austrian galleries and for the most part already have binding commitments. Scheduling will take place, though, only after successful completion of the crowdfunding. I will keep you up-to-date about this.
Special Added Value!
But that’s not enough. At and through the touring exhibition, the exhibits as well as the exhibition catalogue will be offered for sale. Following or right at completion, I will donate all revenue from the sales on a one-for-one basis, without any deduction for expenses, directly to the projects in the Philippines that help people to help themselves. I would like to take on social responsibility with my photography, and the kids, who so readily allowed me to photograph them, should directly profit from this.
I would also like to emphasize in particular that no deductions will be made for the administrative costs of the action group children in need e.V., which brought the projects in the Philippines into being. All of the organization’s costs have been covered by the earmarked donation of a single donor, so that all additional revenue actually flows into the projects, to the kids. I give you my word on this, because I was there and saw it myself.
Furthermore, for summer 2016, I have already planned another trip to the rubbish dumps and cemeteries and would like to give a copy of the photo book to every kid who is depicted in it. They should see what a great thing we have made from the reportage and that the world thinks of them and that they are not alone.