Nations of the Mekong
Nations of the Mekong
Documenting the landscape, history, culture, and people of nations that are along the path of the lower Mekong River.
Documenting the landscape, history, culture, and people of nations that are along the path of the lower Mekong River. Read more
About this project
The Mekong River originates in China and then flows through Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, ultimately discharging into the South China Sea. My plan is to photograph the five nations that are in the lower path of the Mekong River. My focus is really not the river itself, rather I am simply using the river as a common thread that binds these nations together. However, the river and its tributaries will inevitably work their way into the photographs. Although these five nations are quite unique in their history and culture, there are a lot of commonalities as well. They are all heavily influenced by Buddhism which will no doubt be prominently featured in the photographs. They all have rich histories that are great sources of pride for the people. However, some of them also have real dark spots in their more recent past that rival some of the lowest points in human history. In fact, this very contrast in their history is one of the elements that attracted me to these nations. The people of the region are some of the most generous and friendliest people that I have ever met, yet they have been at the center of some of the darkest parts of human history. As a photographer I find this irresistible and I want to try and capture it all with my camera.
I plan to complete the project in three phases:
Phase 1: Thailand and Cambodia (completed)
Phase 2: Laos
Phase 3: Vietnam and Myanmar
Phase 4: Book and exhibition(s)
Phase one of the project is complete. I completed the first phase using my own funds. Many of the photographs taken in phase 1 can be viewed on my web site. My plan is to offer fine-art prints of some of the photographs taken at that phase as rewards for raising funds for phase two. I want to be very clear....I do not wish to rely completely on others' generosity. This is why I am not asking for all of the funds needed to complete phase two. To demonstrate my dedication and commitment, I plan to contribute some of my own money into the project.
What I am asking for:
I am asking for $3,800. I estimate that after paying for the fees and covering the cost of producing and shipping the rewards, I will have about $2,500 left over. This will cover my airfare to a gateway city (Bangkok, Singapore, or Kuala Lumpur; between $1,600 and $1,900), and a couple of short-haul airfares (between $250 and $400 each).
What I plan to contribute:
I will cover all other costs from my funds, which will probably include all of the lodging, other travel costs, guides, and meals. I will also need to replace my back-up camera body.
When will the travel occur?
Travel to a southeast Asian country is influenced by a number of different factors. The earliest possible travel will be in late summer (June-July). That is, however, the rainy season, which has challanges but also offers some unique opportunities. The preferred travel time will be late fall (November-December). Cost of airfare is also a concern, which tends to go up and down based on the time of the year. I will update all contributors about my travel plans.
My pledge to you:
I pledge to use your contributions responsibly. I will update all contributors on the progress of phase 2. I promise to be judicious and not bombard you with too many e-mails.
About the rewards:
The prints that are offered as rewards are all made by me, except for the large metal prints. These are archival quality fine-art prints on museum quality fiber paper. No cheap lab prints here. With proper care, these prints are rated to last 150 years or more without fading. The sizes mentioned are paper sizes. Actual print size will vary based on the aspect ratio of the photograph and there will be a white border around the print.
Here are the photographs offered as rewards:
Risks and challenges
The only possible risk would be if I am unable to complete the project for some unforeseen (and might I add, downright depressing) reasons such as illness, injury, or worse. Political unrest in the destination country is also possible but highly unlikely. Other than that, there are no other major risks and/or challanges for the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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