Images of a rapidly fading way of life on the Mississippi Delta while showing that the Blues musical culture remains as strong as ever.
My name is Julie Dant and I'm a photographer from Southern Indiana. I'd like to introduce you to a black and white photo project of mine that I hope will interest you.
I became interested in photography in the mid 90's when I began to photograph old abandoned houses and buildings and it soon became a driving passion of mine to document all that I could before they were either torn down by the land owners, or destroyed by mother nature and the passage of time.
Some years ago my husband and I were traveling through the Mississippi Delta for the first time and I remember being absolutely enthralled with the old share-cropper's houses that were just sitting empty all along the roadsides there. I naturally took many photographs of them along with abandoned churches, deserted businesses, and several small town main streets that had become virtural ghost towns. It became very important to me to document as many of these old abandoned buildings as I could, simply because, along with a quickly fading Delta way of life, they were disappearing right before our very eyes.
The black and white images I took that summer represent, to me, an essential portion of the Mississippi Delta's history, especially around the city of Clarksdale, which is situated at the crossroads of hightways 49 and 61. It's here that they say the legendary Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil...just to be able to create and play the Delta Blues that he became so famous for.
When I began editing, I decided that I wanted to share my black and white images with as many people as I could in the form of a book. The working title of my book is "A Vanishing Delta". It will be a photo documentation of that area of Mississippi...it's places, it's buildings and the uncommon beauty that can still be found there in the rural areas.
In the book, you'll find not only the pictures of the old share-cropper's homes, but there is an old cotton gin, old abandoned cars and trucks, and a few of those deserted small town main streets that I mentioned earlier. I discovered a beautiful old cypress swamp where children still go fishing with their cane poles, and an old general store that is still in operation being a real necessity to the surrounding rural community there.
One of the real gems for me was the Shack 'Em Up Inn located on the old Hopson Plantation near Clarksdale. It's a group of authentic old share-cropper's homes that the owners of the plantation rent out nightly to tourists. My husband and I stayed in one of those old cabins and it was such a unique experience I've never forgotten it.
People from all over the world have come there to hopefully get a deeper understanding of the roots of Blues music. I have many photographs of the old plantation's out buildings, the plantation store, and the huge old Hopson Cotton gin. Since then, the gin has been converted into a little more modernized accomodations called..humorously..The Cotten Gin Inn.
My project would not be complete if I did not inclued my images of actor Morgan Freeman's Blues Club "Ground Zero" where we enjoyed listening and dancing to some great local blues bands. People might wonder why the owners don't paint over all the graffiti, but they make it a point to leave it 'as is' to keep it looking like the old authentic juke joints. Blues fans want to come to listen to their beloved music surrounded by a truely authentic bluesy atmosphere. It is part of an on-going effort to try to preserve the Delta's musical culture.
My plan for the book is to have aproximately 100 pages with between 50 to 100 of my black and white images with a minimal amount of text. I need only to take it to a printer, This is where you come in.
It is my hope that through Kickstarter and with your financial backing, my long time dream of publishing my Mississippi images in a high-quality coffee table book will finally come true.
Thank you so very much!
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Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on April 25, 2012.
Mar 26, 2012 - Apr 25, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $1 or more
No amount is too small to get a super big "Thank You" from me, for backing my project!! I appreciate any and ALL pledges!!Estimated delivery: May 2012
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You'll receive a post card signed by myself featuring a print of your choice from the book along with my thanks.Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
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You'll receive a signed 5x7 print of your choice from the book along with my thanks!Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
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You'll receive two signed 5x7 prints of your choice from the book along with my thanks!Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
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You'll receive two 8x10 signed prints of your choice from the book along with my thanks!Estimated delivery: Jun 2012
Pledge $100 or more
You'll receive an 11x14 signed print from the book plus a signed copy of my book. The print will be sent to you in June of 2012, however the book will not be available to send out until August of 2012. My apologies to international backers, but please add 10.00 to your pledge for shipping..Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $300 or more
You'll receive two 11 x14 signed prints from the book. Plus a 2013 wall calender with 12 of my images. You will also receive TWO signed copies of my book. . You'll receive your prints and calender in June of 2012, but the book will not be available to send until August of 2012. My apologies to international backers, but due to the weight of the framed prints, please add 10.00 to your pledge for shipping.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $500 or more
You'll receive two 16x20 signed prints from the book. You will also get a 2013 wall calender with 12 of my images. Plus, you will receive TWO books signed by me and not only that, your generosity will be rewarded with your name included in the acknowledgements section with my personal thanks. You'll receive your two prints and the calender in June of 2012, but the book will not be available to send until August of 2012. My apologies to international backers, but the cost of sending the two prints is high, so please ad $10.00 for shipping cost.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
You'll receive one of only a hundred sets of my special "Delta Blues Limited Edition Series" which includes 4 of my favorite black and white Delta photographs. Each in the series will be numbered and personally signed by myself and will be sent to you as matted 8x10 archival prints in 11x14 ready to hang black wooden frames. PLUS you will receive FOUR books signed by me and not only that, your generosity will be rewarded with your name included in the acknowledgements section with my personal thanks. Your Limited Edition Delta Blues Series will be shipped in June of 2012, but the book will not be available to send until the end of August 2012. My apologies to international backers, but the cost of shipping 4 framed prints is high so please add $30.00 for shipping costs.Estimated delivery: Aug 2012