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A photo book of portraits and landscapes celebrating day-to-day life in Detroit from the early recession to post-recession days.
A photo book of portraits and landscapes celebrating day-to-day life in Detroit from the early recession to post-recession days.
120 backers pledged $20,181 to help bring this project to life.

About

Your Town Tomorrow (Detroit, 2007-2017) project video thumbnail
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The photo book Your Town Tomorrow acknowledges a resilient community in the midst of challenging transition. Although documentary in format, it is also a very personal series to me as it chronicles my life and work in Detroit, the communities where I lived, and a lot of my friends and neighbors. After 10 years of photographing, I’m ready to publish a book of these images, and with your support I can make this happen.

Batoul, 2017 and Yasmin, 2015
Batoul, 2017 and Yasmin, 2015

Why is this book important now?

Detroit has been the site of complicated change since I moved here twelve years ago. New development and economic interest, venture capitalists, and corporate investors have again altered the structure of the city. The national media’s narrative of Detroit claims it’s a “new” city of great economic opportunity, but it hardly talks about the people who have been here. The people is what truly makes a city; they are essential to Detroit’s culture and vitality. 

Cowboy, Peacemakers International, 2011
Cowboy, Peacemakers International, 2011

Showing Detroit without its people is misinformation. This happened during the economic downturn of 2008 when national media characterized Detroit by decline and decay. My work has always been a reaction against the portrayal of Detroit as desolate city full of industrial ruins. There’s not enough attention on neighborhood organizations and activism, and I hope that my photos can contribute to their visibility.

Shot largely during the Obama years, these photographs also activate a larger conversation about America today. When we feel our political system is failing us, how do we move forward? The grassroots organizations and activist groups in Detroit have pioneered creative ways of dealing with the country’s social and economic issues.

Linda and her daughter Diamond, 2011 and Emily, 2010
Linda and her daughter Diamond, 2011 and Emily, 2010
Statue of Liberty, 2017 and Munni, Aftar and Shahina, 2011
Statue of Liberty, 2017 and Munni, Aftar and Shahina, 2011
Obama Gas Station, 2010
Obama Gas Station, 2010

Who am I? And what is my motivation?

In 2002 I received a scholarship to study photography at Cranbrook Academy of Art, a school in a near suburb of Detroit. During my time there I frequently left to go photograph in Detroit. After graduating, I moved back to the Netherlands but soon realized that I left my heart back in Detroit. I had made lasting friendships and created a feeling of incompletion by leaving there. In 2006, after struggling to relocate in Amsterdam, I decided to move back and set up my studio practice in Detroit indefinitely. It wasn’t until then that I got to know the city on a much more intimate level.

In 2007 I began the Your Town Tomorrow series by photographing community gardens and urban farms that were increasingly emerging. Detroit has a strong history of social activism, and through these gardens, people were dealing with issues of food security and self-reliance. From then on, the inspiration for this series has been the people of Detroit and the revitalization of the city on a grass-roots level.

This interest sparked another project called the Walk-in Portrait Studio where I staged temporary portrait studios around the city to document people who are active in the betterment of their communities. The photographs were then part of a solo exhibition at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2014-2015 and then entered their permanent collection alongside images from Your Town Tomorrow.

Rick, 2008
Rick, 2008
Shara and her son Cozzie, 2011
Shara and her son Cozzie, 2011

What will your contribution support?

This crowdfunding campaign is the first step in helping me reach my overall fundraising goal and publish Your Town Tomorrow. Publishing is very expensive, costing around $20,000-25,000, and your contribution will help initiate this process. This first stage of fundraising will include hiring an oral historian to interview the people featured in the book and paying a designer to create the book's final layout.

With this initial fundraising goal, I can meet an upcoming matching grant to support the entire publishing costs. Ultimately, most of the money we raise will go to the actual production of the book - like printing, binding, and distribution.

The final product should be published in December 2018 and will include around 75 selected photographs with captions, including interviews and personal accounts from the people in the photographs.

William, 2010 and Floyd, 2011
William, 2010 and Floyd, 2011

 Why crowdfunding?

Your Town Tomorrow has always been self-funded. While my recent print sales have helped with some of the photo book costs, publishing expenses far exceed my budget. I also see this crowdfunding campaign as a way to engage with people both in Detroit and elsewhere. I’m looking forward to expanding my audience to other cities in the United States, Europe, and beyond.

Rewards for your support

Postcards: A set of five images from the Your Town Tomorrow series.

Poster: Exhibition poster from the Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria, featuring the image: Diaz family and their ‘48 Chevrolet Fleetline, 2008

Limited archival prints in 7.5 x 10" and 15 x 20": Please choose an image from a wide selection of the Your Town Tomorrow series, viewable here. Below are some of my favorites. They run in a limited edition, so some may not be available, but just contact me with any questions or requests at hello@corinevermeulen.com

Risks and challenges

I expect the book to be published by December 2018, but because we are in the early stages of the production process, delays may arise. I will regularly update contributors with the status of the project - and if the book needs more time, I'll let you know and send something special in the meantime for those who pre-ordered the book.

Thank you very much for your help.
Whether you have pledged or helped to spread the word, your support means a lot!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank You postcard

    I will mail you a unique postcard (5 x 7") of a photo featured in Your Town Tomorrow, with a handwritten 'thank you' on the back.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Set of 5 postcards and acknowledgement

    Pick up a set of 5 postcards (5 x 7") and have your name featured in the acknowledgements page in Your Town Tomorrow.

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    Signed copy of Your Town Tomorrow

    Be the first to get a signed copy of Your Town Tomorrow, and be acknowledged in the book.

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    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Give and get two of Your Town Tomorrow

    Get two of Your Town Tomorrow - one for you and one to either donate to a local library or send to a loved one. Plus, be acknowledged in the book.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Poster

    Receive a rare exhibition poster from the Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria (2010) featuring an image from Your Town Tomorrow, and be acknowledged in the book.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Full package

    Get it all: a signed copy of Your Town Tomorrow, a box of 5 x 7” postcards (5x), a rare exhibition poster from the Kunsthalle in Vienna, Austria (2010) featuring an image from Your Town Tomorrow, and be acknowledged in the book.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    7.5 x 10” Limited Archival Print

    Receive a super limited 7.5 x 10” archival print signed by the artist, along with a signed copy of Your Town Tomorrow and your name in the acknowledgments page.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    15 x 20" Limited Archival Print

    Collect a 15 x 20” print of your choice from my exhibition archive and signed, along with two copies of Your Town Tomorrow (one to get, one to give) and your name in the acknowledgments page.

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Funding period

- (30 days)