In 2007 I visited my native country of Suriname after a twenty-year absence. I live and work in New York as a cinematographer and have traveled the world on a variety of projects. But nothing I had seen and felt during my travels compared with the deep and intimate connection I felt when I went back to Suriname. I was in love!
With my camera in hand, I began to explore the country and the people. This started me thinking about making portraits and capturing slices-of-life moments of the Indigenous, African, Asian and European descendants, which one day I would like to publish in handsome coffee-table books. I wanted to photograph the Surinamers in ways seldom seen, using my experience as a cinematographer to tell stories with images, and to serve as a mirror for the quiet dignity I so often came across.
About two years ago I returned to photograph the people whose ancestors were the first to arrive in this land, the Indigenous Peoples of Suriname. My objective with this work has grown from the dream of publishing a photo-book, to bringing about a higher level of awareness of the many issues that the Indigenous Peoples are challenged with today: from social-economic marginalization, to the environmental and political struggles concerning land rights, mining and mercury pollution.
I am returning to Suriname for three weeks in August. It was a challenge to raise enough funds to make this trip possible. My unpredictable lifestyle as a filmmaker affords me enough free time, but rarely the income to allow me to travel at will. My August trip has one last hurdle to overcome. My beloved camera, which has accompanied me on my adventures through Suriname, has stopped to function optimally and is unpredictable at best. Given the remote locations and fleeting opportunities that characterize my work, it is critical that I travel with equipment that will work. My hope with this Kickstarter effort is to raise enough funds to purchase the camera equipment I need to do this work, and to do it well.
I would be grateful for any support you can give me, especially since the date of my departure is quickly approaching. With warmest regards,
- (12 days)