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140-Page Photography Book & Family Portrait Packages Sent to Manono Island, Samoa
65 backers pledged $7,112 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$7,112

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Manono Island, Samoa

In the spring of 2018 I spent six weeks documenting daily life and taking family portraits of the residents of Salua Village on Manono Island, Samoa.  I’m raising money to send each family their printed portraits and a 140-page printed book that contains a mixture of documentary images and all the family and school portraits.

Children on Manono looking through the books from the 2017 Vanuatu and the 2016 Tonga projects
Children on Manono looking through the books from the 2017 Vanuatu and the 2016 Tonga projects

About Manono

Manono is the second smallest of just four inhabited islands in Samoa.  About 600 people live on the island, so I concentrated my time in the northern village of Salua, where about 200 people reside.  The village is spread out along the trail that circumnavigates the island, it takes 20 minutes to walk from one end of Salua to the other. There are two churches, one primary school, and a dock that boats use for the 20-minute trip to the mainland of 'Upolu. The older kids make the daily commute for high school, as do some adults who work there. Most families have plantations on the interior of the island where they grow taro, cocoa, and many other crops.  Women play bingo 3-6 times each week.  Everybody goes to church on Sunday, occasionally also Wednesday.

Why This Project Is Important

Photos matter to everyone, but they're often a first-world luxury.  Cell phones are becoming more prolific in the Pacific, but photos rarely leave those devices to become prints.  During my six weeks in Salua Village I photographed 44 families and all 88 students.  Each family and each student will receive two 8x12 laminated enlargements and about ten 4x6 prints to share with family and friends.  In addition, each family will receive a copy of the 140-page book of portraits and photos documenting their lives and culture. If we exceed our funding goal we may also be able to send books back to each student.

My family helping to organize and prepare for shipment the 2017 Vanuatu family portrait and student portrait packages.
My family helping to organize and prepare for shipment the 2017 Vanuatu family portrait and student portrait packages.

We take photos so that we can remember.  When I am photographing these projects I'm usually thinking 50 or 100 years down the road and hoping my photos will be meaningful for generations to come.  But sometimes these photos become important much quicker than I'd like.  In each of the four projects I've done (including Manono), a community member I photographed has passed away soon after my departure.  From the Palau project, here was a note I received from the widow of a fisherman who was lost at sea: "Am so glad for your great efforts for your project. Seriously if not, I don't have the best family portrait, something I will treasure for me & esp our kids. Once again, thank you & hope you'll visit Palau in the future." Her children were 5, 3, and 1 at the time of their portrait, so the youngest will only ever know his father through the portrait that was sent back from this project.

Here is another case for which I just received an email last week (this was from the Palau project in 2013):

On July 16th, 2018, Fetaomi (below) passed away at 92 years of age.  She has two documentary photos in this year's Samoa book in addition to her family photo.  I already emailed back a selection of photos for her funeral, but I will make sure to include many copies of these for her surviving relatives. 

What We Need

My goal is to send 50 books and portrait packages back to Salua Village.  The book is softcover and filled with about 110 documentary photos, 30 pages of family and student portraits, and maps of both Oceania and Samoa with a Manono inset.  This year I will also include two guest essays about tattooing in Samoa as well as a history of Manono Island. 100 books (50 for the community, 50 for contributors like you!) will cost $2324 and the prints will cost about $500.  I am estimating shipping to be $800, plus $250 in shipping for contributor gifts. Miscellaneous expenses include graphic design ($300), Kickstarter fees, $80 to mail Samoa books back to the Tonga and Vanuatu islands, and $300 in contributor gifts I bought in Samoa.  This totals about $4900.  If we exceed that I have a secondary goal of sending back books to the school children, as well.  

To view more photos from the book and portrait delivery for last year's Vanuatu project, please see a short gallery here (photos by Peace Corps Volunteer Kat Frye!).

It's also worth reading the updates from last year's project, where you'll see a few different photos and the expected progress for this year's project.  The full galleries of the 2017 Vanuatu and 2016 Tonga projects can be seen here: 

Makira, Vanuatu 

Nomuka, Tonga

Book and Portrait Delivery Last Year on Makira, Vanuatu
Book and Portrait Delivery Last Year on Makira, Vanuatu
Ruth Jimmy and Robson Billy with their family photos and Makira book.
Ruth Jimmy and Robson Billy with their family photos and Makira book.

What You Get

At the $75 contribution level you will receive a copy of the Manono book and you will also sponsor one book and portrait package to be mailed back to a family.  I will include a photo of who you sponsored when I send your book to you.  If you would like to gift a contribution on someone else's behalf, just let me know and I will include a note thanking that person for their contribution and an explanation of the project.  

There will only be ten limited edition books which will also include one jar of jam/chili sauce and one bar of soap, all made in Samoa:

For $225 you will receive one each of the three books we've published for these projects: 

Tapa handmade on Manono by Peteli and Punipuao Utumapu. Each piece measures about 14x25".
Tapa handmade on Manono by Peteli and Punipuao Utumapu. Each piece measures about 14x25".

All mat and print purchase also include a copy of the Manono, Samoa book! 

Pandanus mat woven by hand on Manono Island by Malo Utumapu.
Pandanus mat woven by hand on Manono Island by Malo Utumapu.
Pandanus mat woven by hand on Manono Island by Aveina Auapa'au.
Pandanus mat woven by hand on Manono Island by Aveina Auapa'au.
This red and green pandanus mat was woven by Puai Auapa'au. It was made for and donated to this project.
This red and green pandanus mat was woven by Puai Auapa'au. It was made for and donated to this project.
Samoan Fine Mat. These are the highest quality mats made in Samoa. The maker of this mat and its age are unknown as it has been passed around through the years, but it was a 100% donation to this project. The folds can be removed with a little moisture. This might be best for a wall or the floor of an adult household without cats as the bottom edge is fragile.
Samoan Fine Mat. These are the highest quality mats made in Samoa. The maker of this mat and its age are unknown as it has been passed around through the years, but it was a 100% donation to this project. The folds can be removed with a little moisture. This might be best for a wall or the floor of an adult household without cats as the bottom edge is fragile.
Our fine art printer, Marcy, showing the 16x24-sized print.
Our fine art printer, Marcy, showing the 16x24-sized print.
Marcy with the 24x36 print. You can have a print made using any photo you'd like from the Samoa, Vanuatu, or Tonga projects.
Marcy with the 24x36 print. You can have a print made using any photo you'd like from the Samoa, Vanuatu, or Tonga projects.

Here are a few photos from Manono that you may like for the enlarged print option:

Here are a few of the 44 family portraits and 88 student portraits that we're sending back:

The Elena Family
The Elena Family
The Mulipola Lopa Family
The Mulipola Lopa Family
The Taupau Agafili Family
The Taupau Agafili Family
The Mulipola Family
The Mulipola Family
Agaolemaile, Grade 2
Agaolemaile, Grade 2
Gloria, Grade 5
Gloria, Grade 5
Mose, Grade 8
Mose, Grade 8

I'd like to recognize Thinktank Photo for a great in-kind contribution and Brown Publishing for continuing to provide excellent printing and a discount for us.  Thank you to the mat donors, Fred Young for providing accommodations in Apia, and my host family in Salua Village!  Please check the updates section as this project progresses as I'll post more photos and stories from the project there! I will also be updating near daily on my Instagram feed (@davidclumpner).

Risks and challenges

This is the fourth crowd-funded portrait project I have done for a Pacific island. All three of the previous projects (links to those are in the "What We Need" section above) have been fully funded and everything was delivered to contributors and to the islanders, so I hope you can feel safe that your donation will be put towards a good cause and you will receive your gift. I have already worked through three samples of the Manono book and finalized it, so as soon as this project reaches its funding goal I will send the order for the books to the publisher and they'll begin printing. Everything should go quickly this year!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    4x6" Postcard

    A 4x6" postcard thanking you for your contribution!

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    5x7" Print

    A 5x7" print from a photo from the project!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Manono, Samoa Photography Book

    One Manono Photography Book, including shipping within the United States. This donation also pays for the sponsorship of one family's portrait package and book to be sent back to Manono. A picture of the family you have sponsored will be included with your book.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Limited Edition Manono Photography Book

    One of Ten Limited Edition Manono Photography Books. Includes one item each from the Samoa-made jam and soaps. Shipping is included in the United States. This donation also pays for the sponsorship of two family portrait packages and books to be sent back to Manono.

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Samoa, Vanuatu, and Tonga Photo Books

    One copy each of the 2018 Manono, Samoa photography book, the 2017 Makira, Vanuatu photography book, and the 2016 Nomuka, Tonga photography book. This donation also pays for the sponsorship of three family portrait packages and books to be sent back to Manono.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    16x24" Print

    A 16x24" fine art print with 2" white borders. Photo can be your choice from any of the three projects. Includes U.S. shipping and one copy of the Manono Photography Book. This print is custom made by Paper and Ink Studios.
    This contribution pays for many family portrait packages and books to be mailed back to Manono!

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    Handmade Manono Tapa

    Tapa cloth handmade on Manono by Peteli and Punipuao Utumapu. This perk includes one piece, which measures about 14x25". There is a four-page spread in the book showing the making of these pieces. One copy of the Manono Photography Book is included. Shipping is included in the U.S.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Hand-Woven Mat (Red/Green) + Book

    A pandanus mat made by hand on Manono Island by Puai Auapa'au. This the the red and green mat seen in the pictures. It is approximately 48" wide by 74" long. Puai made this mat and donated it for this project! One copy of the Manono Photography Book is included. Shipping is included in the U.S and Canada. This contribution pays for many family portrait packages and books to be mailed back to Manono!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    24x36" Fine Art Print

    A 24x36" fine art print of your choice from any of the three projects. Includes U.S. shipping and one copy of the Manono Photography Book. Print is custom printed by Paper and Ink Studios.
    This contribution pays for many family portrait packages and books to be mailed back to Manono!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Hand-Woven Mat (Red) + Book

    A pandanus mat made by hand on Manono Island by Malo Utumapu. This the the red mat seen in the pictures. It is approximately 53" wide by 85" long. One copy of the Manono Photography Book is included. Shipping is included in the U.S and Canada. This contribution pays for many family portrait packages and books to be mailed back to Manono!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Hand-Woven Mat (Blue) + Book

    A pandanus mat made by hand on Manono Island by Aveina Auapa'au. This the the blue mat. It is approximately 52" wide by 78" long. One copy of the Manono Photography Book is included. Shipping is included to the U.S. or Canada. This contribution pays for many family portrait packages and books to be mailed back to Manono!

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    Samoan Fine Mat

    A famed Samoan Fine Mat, which is the highest quality mat made in the country. It is rarely laid out, usually kept hidden away until it is given to another family at a funeral, a wedding, or as compensation. It measures approximately 55" wide (including the loose ends on the bottom) by 68" long. The original maker or age of this mat is unknown. This was a 100% donation by the community to the project. One copy of the Manono Photography Book is included. Shipping is included in the U.S and Canada. This contribution pays for many, many family portrait packages and books to be mailed back to Manono!

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Funding period

- (23 days)