I wanted to give you an update on how the project you backed, Legacy of War is progressing.
The first part of the year was focused on creating the initial content and launching the project. So far I've been to Lebanon, Laos, Vietnam, Gaza, US, Northern Ireland, Poland and Cambodia; either documenting stories or researching others.
It was great to get these initial photographic stories done, however over the last couple of months I've been working on building stronger foundations for the project. This is not my project, it is a project of collaborations. One of the most important being with NGO's and charities working in post-conflict relief. I've had great and fruitful conversations with FABW, Emergency UK, Handicap International, ICRC, UNHCR, MAG and War Child - all of whom are keen to support the project. In fact I've been overwhelmed by their support in both making this project happen, but more importantly finding ways to make sure the right people see it when its done.
I've been talking to schools about how this project could be utilized by them when its finished (for me LoW being an education tool is key). I've spoken to legal advisers, website designers, media outlets; I've sought the advice of academics and other photographers and generally talked to anybody that would listen!
At the same time I've also been working hard on the creative collaborations. For now I'm keeping quiet on the names - but they include some incredible poets, musicians and writers who's work and interpretations I believe will add real depth to the project. Again, I've been overwhelmed by their support and enthusiasm for the work Legacy of War is doing.
And trust me, when the collaborations are announced, you will be the first to know!
So now the foundations are far stronger and the finished vision for Legacy of War is clearer. Later this year I'll get back to doing the photography; with various trips planned. All of which are important stories that add to the overall theme; that war doesn't end when a peace is signed. That generations after a conflict, lives are still being destroyed.
In the coming months I will also be in contact individually to discuss the various rewards, polaroids and prints.
I've always believed in this project, but its been a tough journey over the past ten years to make it happen. This was the year Legacy of War truly came to life and I can't thank you enough for your support it making that happen. Without you all, it wouldn't be happening. Rest assured I will continue to give the project my all.
PS for those of you in the UK you might be interested to see an interview I did about Legacy of War for BBC Artsnight. The interview is at about 20mins (though the whole program is well worth watching) http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b062mfw7/artsnight-series-2-4-samira-ahmed