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La Batea is a carefully crafted book that documents gold in Colombia.  / La Batea mira de cerca el tema complejo del oro en Colombia.
La Batea is a carefully crafted book that documents gold in Colombia. / La Batea mira de cerca el tema complejo del oro en Colombia.
261 backers pledged $16,700 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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La Batea: Impressions of Gold in Colombia  

With your participation we can complete La Batea: Impressions of Gold in Colombia. La Batea documents artisanal gold miners, their craft, and their struggles with multinational mining companies in Colombia. The book will be published in English by Red Hook Editions. / Con su participación podemos completar La Batea, un libro de fotografía documental con textos que documenta el oro en Colombia.  La Batea va a salir en Colombia con Icono Editorial finales de este año.

Since 2012, we have been photographing and writing about gold work in Colombia, a nation whose history is intimately bound up with gold. La Batea explores gold's double effects - situations of violence, contamination, and exploitation, but also of devotion, craftsmanship, and anchored communities. / Desde el 2012, hemos estado fotografiando y escribiendo sobre el trabajo del oro en Colombia, una nación cuya historia está íntimamente ligada al oro. La Batea explora los efectos duales del oro -situaciones de violencia, contaminación y explotación, pero también la devoción, artesanía, y las comunidades que sobreviven del precioso metal-. Al adoptar este enfoque holístico, nuestro objetivo con La Batea es contribuir al debate global sobre los impactos sociales, políticos y ambientales de la minería del oro.

We call this book La Batea from the Spanish word for the wooden pan used by artisanal miners to separate gold from the surrounding earth and rock. We take the batea as a symbol of the small-scale miner, who is the primary focus of our work. The process of working with a batea entails close engagement with the material of gold itself, something we aim to replicate in our photographs, writings, and in the book's design / Llamamos a este libro La Batea por el recipiente de madera utilizado por los mineros artesanales para separar el oro de la tierra que lo rodea. Tomamos la batea como un símbolo de la minera a pequeña escala, objetivo principal de nuestro trabajo. La técnica de trabajar con una batea implica un contacto directo con el oro, algo que deseamos replicar en nuestras fotografías, escritos, y en el diseño del libro.

We have thought a lot about the materials used to make this book. Porous paper combines with the grain of Stephen´s images to produce a marked texture.  And a touch of real gold is pressed into the rough cardboard of the cover to make the subject as real as can be. / Hemos pensado mucho acerca de los materiales utilizados para hacer este libro.Se eligió un papel poroso que combinado con el grano de la película fotográfica de Stephen produce una marcada textura. Y hay un toque de oro verdadero en la portada hecha con cartón rústico.

The book includes a list of scholarly sources in Spanish and English on mining and gold in Colombia for those who wish to know more / El libro incluye una lista de fuentes académicas en Español e Inglés de la minería y el oro en Colombia para aquellos que desean saber más.

This project has already received important support from the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund and from the Norman Fund for Faculty Research and Latin American and Latino Studies Faculty Research grant, Brandeis University / Este proyecto ya ha recibido una beca importante de la Fundación Magnum y del Fondo de Investigación Norman y una beca de la Facultad de Investigación de Estudios Latinos de la Universidad Brandeis.

With help from you, we will be able to complete this project by the end of 2016. We need to make four more field trips, contract a designer, print and bind the book.  La Batea: Impressions of Gold in Colombia will be published in December, 2016 by Red Hook Editions, an extraordinary photobook publishing community based in Brooklyn. The Spanish edition will be published by Icono Editorial in Bogotá, Colombia / Con la ayuda de ustedes, vamos a poder completar este proyecto a finales de 2016. Tenemos que hacer cuatro viajes más, contratar a un diseñador, imprimir y encuadernar el libro. La Batea será publicado en diciembre de 2016 por Icono Editorial (Bogotá) y en inglés por Red Hook Editions (Nueva York).

Our book project has just been featured on the Lens Blog of the New York Times! Please take a look here Nuestro proyecto del libro acaba de ser presentado en el Lens Blog del New York Times! Por favor, echa un vistazo aquí.

Risks and challenges

Riesgos y desafíos

This project entails risks associated with working in conflictive regions of Colombia where armed groups are involved in gold mining. Completion of the project will require several more weeks of work in Segovia and Buriticá, Antioquia, where there is a strong paramilitary and guerrilla presence / Este proyecto implica riesgos asociados con el trabajo en las zonas conflictivas en Colombia, en donde los grupos armados están involucrados en la extracción de oro. La finalización del proyecto requerirá varias semanas más de trabajo en Segovia y Buriticá (Antioquia), áreas dominadas por las organizaciones guerrilleras y paramilitares.

Stephen has years of experience documenting conflict in Colombia and is especially qualified to navigate these complicated environments. He has already carried out extensive work on this subject for the New York Times, National Geographic TV and on a grant for the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund / Stephen tiene años de experiencia en la documentación del conflicto armado en Colombia. Él ya ha hecho extensos trabajos sobre este tema para el New York Times, National Geographic TV y para la Fundación Magnum.

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    Our undying gratitude + a postcard with an image from the project + project updates

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    Copia firmada del libro La Batea en español (Icono Editorial) a un precio especial + actualizaciones de proyecto.

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    Solo para gente en Ecuador: Copia firmada del libro La Batea en español (Icono Editorial) , envio incluido + actualizaciones de proyecto.

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    Copia firmada del La Batea (Icono Editorial) a un precio especial + copia firmada de Violentología (Icono Editorial) a un precio especial + actualizaciones de proyecto.

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    Signed copy of La Batea at a special reduced rate for you + project updates

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    Signed copies of La Batea + Violentology: A Manual of the Colombian Conflict (Stephen Ferry, 2012) + project updates

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    Signed copies of La Batea + Not Ours Alone: Patrimony, Value and Collectivity in Contemporary Mexico (Elizabeth Ferry, 2005) + project updates

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    Signed copies of La Batea + Not Ours Alone (Elizabeth Ferry, 2005) + Minerals, Collecting, and Value Across the U.S.-Mexican Border (Elizabeth Ferry, 2013) + project updates

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    Signed copies of La Batea + I Am Rich Potos: The Mountain that Eats Men (Stephen Ferry, 1999) + project updates

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    Siigned copy of La Batea + 8 x 12 archival (Lambda) collector's print signed, dated, and stamped au verso + project updates. Choose print from a selection of five.

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    Signed copy of La Batea + 20x30 archival (Lambda) collector's print signed, dated, and stamped au verso + project updates. Choose print from a selection of five.

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    Signed copy of La Batea + 40x60 archival (Lambda) collector's print signed, dated, and stamped au verso + project updates. Choose print from a selection of five.

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Funding period

- (30 days)