The panAFRICAproject mission is varied: to create a photographic portrait true to the multi-faceted identity of Africa, as one continent and also as 54 individual countries; to provide an on-going and up-to-date visual “scrapbook” of Africa at the beginning of the 21st century, celebrating its progress, development, human potential and enormous contributions to the world; to fill the desperate need for comprehensive imagery that will communicate the complexity of Africa to economic, political, academic and cultural institutions; to disseminate these images using both traditional and accelerated technologies for communication; to deconstruct the stereotypes created by slanted western media by conducting an in-depth investigation of the African experience; to make photography a major fulcrum of dialogue and communication for all African points of view.
For the last several generations, media coverage of Africa has been both naïve and slanted. What western media deems newsworthy has largely been limited to pestilence, poverty, conflict, and wildlife. The real image is much more complex. Over one billion people go to work, raise and educate their children, preserve traditional rituals, cultivate their natural resources and innovate new technologies with little involvement with the sensationalistic events that attract attention from media outside the continent. panAFRICAproject means to be a compendium/almanac of photography to illustrate unbiased, day-to-day life by focusing on each individual culture.
Now we come to you to grow this incredible project. Our goal is to raise $25,000 in thirty days. Using previous travels to African countries we have created a modest budget for two of our team members to visit the next country on our list and document modern day Africa to continue redefining Western vision and stereotypes. If interested, please scroll down to see a pie chart of how the funds will be distributed. While in Africa, our contributors will be able to chart our progress through Facebook, Instagram and other social media outlets, putting faces to names and countries. Through panAFRICAproject you will be transported to everyday life of African children and families, business owners and artists, doctors and blue-collar workers alike.
Since we began panAFRICAproject a few years ago and shouldered the challenge to reveal the new Africa, "The Other Africa", all our efforts have been self-financed in order to demonstrate that such an enormous undertaking can be successful, and it has been successful. Now we have a strong foundation of imagery from several vibrant countries (Senagal, Ghana, Egypt, Tanzania, Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa and Namibia).
We have donated many of these photographs back to the people and institutions that assist us and open their lives and doors to our prying cameras and lenses. We have created partnerships with organizations that have a vested interest in educating and demystifying each individual country. We have been in conversation to include more comprehensive photography of native photographers and photographers who have devoted extensive time investigating more completely certain aspects on the continent.
It is the panAFRICAproject’s contention that photography is the best method to illuminate examples of such diversity and bring them to the eyes of a global audience in the most engaging, balanced, and compelling way possible. Photography is not only the most efficient, comprehensive, and flexible means of documentation, but the most universal “language” with which to inspire people’s imagination.
Exceptional photography that delves into the aspects of each region, society, topography, indigenous people and local ethnography can clearly showcase "The Other Africa” and provide better materials for research and teaching.
The African Union and different governments have suggested limiting western access and/or censoring outside intervention because of their slanted, uninformed viewpoint. This combined with their limited efforts to investigate normal everyday life, there is a dearth of quality imagery of major aspects of cities, rural regions, industry, stewardship, entrepreneurial changes, artistic and the beautiful richness of cultures. Spending ample time in each place, exploiting more photojournalistic methods, panAFRICAproject’s photography can lay the foundation for an enriched visual literacy that can be expanded upon by internal and worldwide external interested parties.
Please explore the rewards we are offering below and donate. And no matter how little or how much you can give, please share this website and project with your friends, family, and colleagues. We need your help to spread the word about panafricaproject, both personally and online. Please connect with me on facebook and on Twitter @loujones2008. We need a minimum of $25,000 to make this next stage a reality. Ideally, we are trying to raise additional funds which will allow us to:
- launch a massive PR campaign to highlight the issues and organizations featured in the project
- do a major overhaul of the www.panAFRICAproject.org website which will be a resource for research, students, and news media
- reach out to several photographers both native and who have specialized in certain aspects of the continent to include their in-depth imagery on the website.
I hope that you find these portraits and stories inspiring, and that you will consider becoming a backer of this important and timely project.
Lou Jones' eclectic career has evolved from commercial to the personal. It has spanned every format, film type, artistic movement and technological change. He maintains a studio in Boston, Massachusetts and has photographed for Fortune 500 corporations, international companies and local small businesses including Federal Express, Nike and the Barr Foundation. He has completed assignments for magazines and publishers all over the world such as Time/Life, National Geographic and Paris Match. Initiated long term projects on the civil wars in Central America, death row, Olympic Games and pregnancy and published multiple books including Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row, earning him the Ehrmann Award from the Massachusetts Citizens Against the Death Penalty.
Jones helped found Center for Digital Imaging Arts of Boston University and conceived the prestigious Griffin Museum's annual Focus Awards. He has exhibited his eclectic imagery in colleges and schools such as Trinity College, Texas Tech University and New England College, and in collections at the Smithsonian Institution, DeCordova Museum and the African American Museum in Philadelphia. His photography is owned by various collections including the Fogg Museum, Wellesley College and the University of Texas.
*When choosing which image you would like for your print(s), please select from the grid below. This applies for all sizes of print. To see larger versions of the photographs before you choose, please go to the gallery on my website.
Please click on the buttons below to help us share this project. The more people see this campaign and hear about panAFRICAproject, the more likely we will be able to successfully fund this campaign. We greatly appreciate your help.
Thank you for visiting the panAFRICAproject Kickstarter Campaign Page!
Risks and challenges
We don't anticipate any problems, but "if every pork chop was perfect we wouldn't have hotdogs".
In order to finish this step in the project, we will need to set a very ambitious travel schedule. I am used to working with demanding schedules and on tight deadlines having worked as a photojournalist for over 30 years. Knowing there will be challenges along the way, I will keep our backers informed of my progress throughout every phase of the project with exclusive insights and images and you will be the first to know if there are any unavoidable delays.
Your support is vital to the success of The panAFRICAproject.
Any amount that you donate that puts panAFRICAproject over our goal will allow us to dedicate more of the next year to the project and will allow the project to reach more and more communities making this truly a portrait of Modern Africa, so please - continue to donate and to spread the word!
With a project like this the biggest risk is usually a delay in the rewards. However, I do not foresee any major issues. Most of the work has been done, including the design and all of the photography. I have an experienced printer (one of the best printers from Boston) on board who has given us accurate printing and shipping costs.
Although this is my first Kickstarter project, I have done my homework. I am fully aware of the challenges presented by fulfilling the rewards and have set aside the time and accounted for the resources necessary.
The rewards will be shipped from the US and the cost for shipping such large prints can be quite high. If you live outside of the US, please add the extra shipping costs as indicated on each individual reward level where applicable. I appreciate your understanding and thank you in advance. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
Now let’s raise the funds!
- (30 days)