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$19,389 pledged of $47,250 goal
$19,389 pledged of $47,250 goal

A question of profit and cost ....


I received an e mail from a potential backer last night, and answered it, but thought it would be good to post publicly in case others have this concern.

I was asked why this book seemed to be more expensive than others on kickstarter and if I intended to make from the book. Here’s my reply:

I chose high quality art paper for the printing, and high quality reproduction of the images. I chose these because it was another layer of paying respect to the people we lost to AIDS. Some people will remember, back in the height of the AIDS crisis, how badly People With AIDS were treated. People were call “AIDS carrying faggots”, being evicted from apartments, marginalized, stigmatized, and even beaten. We all know how wrong that was, it was fueled by ignorance and fear. 

Now, this is the opportunity to pay some respect, photographically, to the memory of people we lost, and to the movement that changed the course of the AIDS Crisis. They are now images in a book, producing it this way was the only way to go.

Back in the day when I was working on this project, I paid for everything. For the airfares to Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Miami, for transportation and hotel when fellow activist could not accommodate me. 

All the costs for film, paper, chemical, supplies were out of pocket. I hand processed over 1,000 rolls of film of portraits and demo images, countless contact sheets. All the images from this project that exist today, were hand printed my me.

In the early '90's, I received $2,500.00 donation from Yves St. Laurant of Paris, and an anonymous gift of $500.00 from a person in Japan.

At the end of the day, I spent close to $28,000.00 producing this body of work. I do not expect to make any money from this project. 

That is not my goal.

It is my hope that copies of the book can be donated to libraries and schools, with panel discussions with Activist to tell their stories in person. Reaching out.

The day that I see some one open this book, study the images of Robert Garcia, Hal Haner, Maxine Wolfe, Ilka Tanya Payan, or Larry Kramer, read their words, and know, that will be the only payback I need.

Bill Bytsura  - 8.19.14

Saundra Johnson, Alan Perlman, and 3 more people like this update.


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    1. Alan Perlman on September 19, 2014

      I've known Billy for way longer than either of us would care to consider or admit; since before the AIDS epidemic began to rage. Indeed, I knew Randy whose untimely passing inspired this body of work.

      He has enumerated many of the material expenses he incurred and these are indeed significant. But I offer personal testimony to the passion, emotion, urgency, and commitment he has invested over more than two decades to bring this project to fruition. Please believe me, his motivation is not financial gain.

      His book is a work of fine art, and reflects the dedication of a truly fine heart.