To order copies of the book please go to www.martinusborne.com/category/books/
We did it!!!!
THANK YOU to everyone that has helped me so far. I am hugely touched. This now allows the book to be printed! Whoop! Thank you, thank you. Extra pledges are still very much-needed as they will go towards the large costs of making this work (flights, travel, film, processing etc) as well as a percentage to the dogs (for more details see below) and also allow me to make future work about other animal welfare issues.
Reaching £20,000 and more will not only pay for the book but also all the film, the processing, the scanning and the travel costs and make it so much easier to do more work like this.
Please continue to spread the word about these dogs far and wide.
Each year in Spain more than 30,000 hunting dogs are abandoned or killed - considered too slow, too old or too expensive to keep for the next season.
Many centuries ago, the very same breeds were passed down in noblemen's wills and owned by royalty - to kill one was a crime met with serious punishment.
These elegant dogs have had a remarkable fall from grace yet their story is relatively unknown around the world. Even in Spain, their plight is often unheard of, or worse, ignored.
Please help make a large art photography book about these beautiful dogs that is neither brutal nor banal but which will help bring the story - and the suffering - to a much-needed wider audience. These dogs deserve a voice.
With special thanks to the incredible work of:
Charl and all at http://112carlotagalgos.com/en/
Isa and all at http://www.fundacionbm.com/en
* A NOTE ON EXTRA FUNDING:
It's important I'm very clear about funds over the £10K goal - many of you are pledging on behalf of the dogs, after all, so I owe it to you all to be transparent. The total cost of this project including 6 trips to Spain, with flights, equipment, car hire, film, processing, scanning, paying an assistant (for 60 days of work), going to Germany to oversee the production - all over a 2 year period - is around £20k. The printing is £10K on top of this. From that, postage and kickstarter fees need to paid and then 10% is given to the dogs from the remaining money. It is unlikely I will get a penny for the 150+ days of work involved- which is they way it should be, this is about the dogs - but if I can recoup the costs or even get some extra money then this will allow me to do more work like this in the future. Thank you for you support
The most iconic of the Spanish hunting dogs is the Galgo - or Spanish Greyhound - tall, regal, powerful. Other smaller breeds are also common, such as the Podenco, used for hunting in hillier territory. They are used for chasing wild animals, hare mostly, across the rural countryside.
These dogs trace a rich history. In the 12th century they might have been passed down in a nobleman's will or appeared in a commissioned painting. Today they can be found thrown down wells or hung from trees, or more often, thankfully, in rescue centres awaiting a new home. They are the victims of a hunting tradition that has taken a cruel, downwards trajectory.
It is impossible to calculate the true numbers of dogs suffering but we can be sure the number is high. Hunting happens in remote regions and the owners ignore microchipping regulations. Experts place the figure between 20,000 and 200,000 of dogs abandoned each year. The rescue centre where I worked received up to 90 dogs a day - and that was a single area of the country. It is not hard to multiply these figures out to far more than 30,000 a year.
Making an art book is perhaps not the most obvious response to this suffering - but it is what I know best. Other people, like those that run the rescue centres where I have been lucky enough to stay, are more dedicated than me and provide hands on help. A percentage of proceeds from this book and print sales will go to them. But I hope my images might also give a voice to the voiceless and do a little bit to raise international awareness, a key ingredient to changing a centuries-long tradition.
This book is not full of grim images. I hope it is full of beauty. I have made a point of not looking directly at the suffering - it is fairly easy to take pictures of brutality. But I also don't want to take cutesy pictures of dogs looking happy. I wanted to show the majesty without denying the misery. Many of the dogs look nervous, weak or shy. But I hope you see they still possess an innate elegance.
The work of this book is inspired by Velazquez. He painted at a time when these dogs were still revered and was born in an area where the dogs still hunt. His use of dramatic lighting and earthy colours provided a constant reference point and a reminder of these dogs' noble past. I hope that this images show something of the classical beauty and heritage of these dogs whilst not ignoring the ugliness of their modern situation.
Please support this project, pass it on to others and help raise awareness for these dogs' suffering.
Risks and challenges
Pledging on kickstarter requires an element of trust - I could decide to take your money, buy a wig and flee to Mexico. However, you should know the following:
A) I have fulfilled my two previous KS projects, both on time and to brief
B) I've spent three years helping dogs out of my own pocket. I'm not the sort of person that will take a bite out of your wallet
C) I'm contractually obliged to print my next book with a reputable publisher so the systems are all in place to make this happen.
You won't be disappointed. Thank you for your support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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