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$2,610 pledged of $20,000 goal
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By Drew Doggett
$2,610 pledged of $20,000 goal
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About this project

The Rendille at Korole Wells, a medium-sized village with 15 houses and 100 residents, although they are rarely all there at the same time.
The Rendille at Korole Wells, a medium-sized village with 15 houses and 100 residents, although they are rarely all there at the same time.

The current, vibrant cultures in Africa are ones we might lose the opportunity to document forever if we don’t act now. Singing For Water: Life in the Kenyan Desert is a snapshot of two of the most remote tribes in the Kenyan desert. It will document the unique traditions as well as feature activating conversations with tribe members. 

A view of the network of the Singing Wells from above and close-up to this incredible feat of human nature.
A view of the network of the Singing Wells from above and close-up to this incredible feat of human nature.

THE STORY: 

This is the extraordinary story of the Samburu tribe and the Singing Wells, and it is part of the short films Drew Doggett is looking to make during a trip to Africa in May of 2017. Come with Drew and Bircha, a Rendille tribe member, as they take you deep into the desert in Africa to experience the Singing Wells and for one-on-one conversations with members of the Rendille and Samburu tribes. Their stories and real-time opinions will provide invaluable insight and documentation of one of the most intriguing places on Earth.

ABOUT THE SINGING WELLS: 

There is a place in the remote desert of Northern Kenya where the semi-nomadic Samburu people have created their own sustainable ecosystem in the most unusual way.

The Samburu know how to divine freshwater in the desert by mysteriously knowing where to dig for this life-saving resource. Then, they sing to their herds of animals who can identify the proper well to drink from by the song of their owner, quenching their often days-old thirst. This miraculous system supports the herds of livestock they rely on for sustaining their tribe’s well-being, but also the wild elephants, lions, and other often endangered animals who come to drink in the night. These are the Singing Wells of the Samburu people, and those are just a few of the benefits their well-digging has created.

THE FILM:

We want to create a visual portrait of the times and the people through a short film with the tribes members as the diarists. We aim to take a snapshot of life in Africa now through a participatory, active conversation and documentation of some of the most amazing, sustained traditions we’ve encountered in our research. In exploring this area’s remarkable heritage, Drew and his team aim to help viewers gain a new respect for the extraordinary diversity and precarious fate of traditional cultures around the world. 

It is our hope to distribute this as an educational tool furthering and acknowledging our diverse planet. Keep in mind that your assistance will allow this film to be available for free through the Internet in the hopes of reaching as many people as possible.

Drew has had a continued interest in Africa and during his last trip there a group of young boys followed him around, and would run to him and take his hand in a sign of friendship. They were earnestly interested in examining the same things as Drew.
Drew has had a continued interest in Africa and during his last trip there a group of young boys followed him around, and would run to him and take his hand in a sign of friendship. They were earnestly interested in examining the same things as Drew.

HOW OUR FILM IS DIFFERENT:

This film will look at these tribes in Africa more through dialogue and active participation with the people who experience the land’s inimitable beautiful rhythms and hardships on a day-to-day basis. This film will also engage viewers by taking them to the one of the most hopeful and interesting signs of ecological sustainability located deep in the Northern Kenyan desert, self-engineered by the Samburu tribes. 

WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT:

Drew and his team have spent 6+ months researching the Rendille and Samburu cultures, arranging access to the local communities, and pre-producing the project. He’s self-funded all needs for the film so far as well as personally financed the expedition costs, but needs your help in bringing the film to life. He’s looking to raise enough money to pay for the personnel and equipment necessary to capture the footage as well as to post-produce and edit the piece.

Below is what your pledges will fund:

Film crew transportation around Kenya, Flights, ‘On the Ground’ Costs / Daily Costs (Food, etc.), Film Crew (Director of Photography, Camera Operator), Post Production, Editing, Color, Music, Equipment Rental

Note: Drew is paying his own way out of pocket as well for the assistance of Bircha for accessing the Rendille and Samburu tribes. This Kickstarter with the costs noted above are to bring an incredible team with him to make the best film possible.

WHY NOW: 

The rate that the Rendille and Samburu tribe’s lifestyle and incredible cultural heritage is affected is furthered by an ever-growing amount of factors.

For instance, one of the biggest impending threats to these tribe’s lifestyles is the new dams being built in the Omo Valley region whose immediate and long-term effects have not been properly studied according to the Human Rights Watch. The Rendille and Samburu tribes are among those who rely on Lake Turkana and its surrounding area as is currently nurtured by the Lake, which receives 90% of its inflow from the Omo River.

Besides the issues from the dam(s), other constantly-multiplying factors threaten the Rendille and Samburu tribe's cultural heritage. Our hope is for viewers to gain an appreciation of the world’s cultural diversity—one that develops beyond mere tolerance and into a genuine sense of shared humanity. 

On a previous trip to Africa, Drew immediately noticed the incorporation of these sunglasses into the traditional garb - a sure sign of changing times in this remote region.
On a previous trip to Africa, Drew immediately noticed the incorporation of these sunglasses into the traditional garb - a sure sign of changing times in this remote region.

We designed our reward program so there is something for everyone, and note that any pledge is a huge help. 

Select images from Drew Doggett's 2011 series from the Omo Valley
Select images from Drew Doggett's 2011 series from the Omo Valley

Drew is also an accomplished photographer with work held in prestigious collections globally. During this trip he will also be making a series of still photographic images that will be part of our reward program for our backers. Backers will be able to choose what images they'd like as their reward before the images are available to the public.

Please be sure to check out his previous work on his website here, as well as more images from Africa: www.drewdoggett.com

ABOUT THE TEAM:

 

 

Drew Doggett is an award-winning director, producer, and photographer. Starting his career under the auspices of the upper echelon of fashion photographers allowed Doggett to swiftly create his own unique practice focusing on extraordinary locations and incorporating both film and photography. Doggett received his first film accolade at the Nikon Photo Contest in 2015 for his Dunes: Abstract Expressions film and his still photography can be found in public and private collections globally, notably the Smithsonian African Art Museum (DC). He has also been featured in many publications such as Photographer Magazine and Outside Magazine. He has been sponsored by brands like Hasselblad and Leica and was recently honored as an Associate from the Royal Photographic Society.

Bircha - a Rendille warrior and tribesman native to the Northern Frontier District (NFD) in Kenya. He will be facilitating our access to the community while on the ground in Kenya.

Christopher Ward - a multi-platinum, Oscar, and Grammy-winning composer

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge we face is time.

We've already secured Bircha, a native Rendille tribe member, to assist but the current, vibrant cultures in Africa are ones we might lose the opportunity to document forever if we don’t act now.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Social Media Mention

    For a $1-$10 donation we will thank you on our social media to an audience of 12K+ followers for support of the trip. Drew's Instagram is @drewdoggettphotography

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    Early Access

    (ALL previous rewards PLUS + ) Receive a link to be among the first to watch the film before it is released to the public.

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    HD Download + Early Access

    (ALL previous rewards PLUS + ) You will be able to download the film in HD, as well as be among the first to watch the film before it is released to the public.

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    Thank You Credit in the Film

    (ALL previous rewards PLUS + ) At this level you will receive a special thanks in the film's closing credits.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Hand-made Samburu Jewelry

    (ALL previous rewards PLUS + ) Drew will bring back beaded jewelry from Africa for pledges at this level. All jewelry will be made by and purchased directly from the Samburu or Rendille.

    Includes:
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    Limited Edition Print (13 x 19")

    (EVERYTHING at the $100 reward level PLUS +) 13 x 19" limited edition, signed, & unframed print. Backers can choose the image they'd like to own BEFORE the series is available to the general public. The retail for this size is $735.

    Includes:
    • Signed, limited edition, unframed print (13 x 19”)
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    Limited Edition Print (18 x 27")

    (EVERYTHING at the $100 reward level PLUS +) 18 x 27" limited edition, signed, & unframed print. Backers can choose the image they'd like to own BEFORE the series is available to the general public. The retail for this size is $1085.

    Includes:
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    45-Minute Skype/FaceTime with Drew

    (EVERYTHING at the $250 reward level PLUS +) a 45-minute Skype session with Drew to review your portfolio, talk about the making of the film, or ask him any questions you may have about his work or building your own career in the film/photography world.

    Includes:
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    • Hand-made Samburu Jewelry
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    SPECIAL - Only 1 Available

    Receive a 24 x 36" limited edition, signed, and unframed print of your choice from the Omo: Expressions of a People series from 2011. The retail for this size is $1735. Make sure to follow us on Instagram to hear about special limited rewards first.

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    Limited Edition Print (24 x 36")

    (EVERYTHING at the $100 reward level PLUS +) 24 x 36" limited edition, signed, & unframed print. Backers can choose the image they'd like to own BEFORE the series is available to the general public. The retail for this size is $1735.

    Includes:
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    • Hand-made Samburu Jewelry
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    Limited Edition Print (38 x 57")

    (EVERYTHING at the $250 reward level PLUS +) 38 x 57" limited edition, signed, & unframed print. Backers can choose the image they'd like to own BEFORE the series is available to the general public. The retail for this size is $3335.

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    Associate Producer Credit + IMDB Entry

    (EVERYTHING at the $2250 reward level PLUS +) An Associate Producer credit on the film and an IMDB entry.

    Includes:
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    • Hand-made Samburu Jewelry
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    Private Screening in North America

    (EVERYTHING at the $250 reward level PLUS +) A private screening + roundtable discussion with Drew and your closest friends at a venue of your choice in North America (Drew's time and travel included).

    Includes:
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    Co-Exec. Producer Credit + IMDB

    (EVERYTHING at the $2250 reward level PLUS +) Co-Executive Producer credit on the film and IMDb entry.

    Includes:
    • Hand-made Samburu Jewelry
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Funding period

- (30 days)