Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 17, 2010.

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Bicycle Portraits will be a photographic book about contemporary South African bicycle commuter culture. Pledge now and own a copy of your own...

We have launched BICYCLE PORTRAITS / PART II and we are ready to take more pre-orders for the book! Visit www.bicycleportraits.co.za/kickstarter to view our new fundraising page.

The short version...

Help us turn our constantly growing, frequently updated project - www.bicycleportraits.co.za - into a beautiful photographic book.

Your pledges, in exchange for great rewards (to the right), will send us on a photographic bicycle journey around South Africa to meet a cross-section of cyclists, and fund the production and printing of a self-published hard-cover photographic book, something like this -


IF YOU PLEDGE ($50 AND UP) YOU ARE EFFECTIVELY PRE-ORDERING A COPY OF THE BOOK!

For constant updates follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Also visit our Vimeo page to watch our movies or embed our clips into your site or blog.

The long version...

My name is Stan Engelbrecht. A friend and fellow bicycle enthusiast, Nic Grobler, and I recently started a project investigating South African bicycle culture, and the lack of cyclist commuters out there on our roads. We want to raise the funds to turn this project into a self-published full-color hard-cover photographic book ( similar to a previous book I've done, 'African Salad' - www.dayonepublications.com ). We'll be shooting the entire project from our own bicycles while traveling around the country - this will enable us to meet everyday South Africans out there while they use their bicycles.

PLEASE HAVE A LOOK AT OUR $50 AND UP PLEDGE REWARDS - YOU'LL ESSENTIALLY BE PRE-ORDERING A COPY OF THE BOOK!

How we are doing this...

Given the nature of the project we will be launching pledging in sections. Our ultimate goal is to raise $35,000 in total for the complete production of the book, but we'll be breaking the process up into three phases. For our first phase we want to raise $15,000 for traveling, shooting, writing and preparing all the collected content for the next phase - design and layout, and all pre-printing preparations - for which we want to raise a further $5,000. The third and final phase we will be raising an additional $15,000 for the actual printing and binding of 3000 copies of the book.

For our project we are looking at who rides bicycles, why they ride them, and if they love using bicycles as a primary method of transport. Please have a look at our constantly growing site - www.bicycleportraits.co.za - to get a clearer idea of what we are working on. This site will be constantly updated as the project develops and we'll be building an iPhone app that informs followers as new additions are interviewed, photographed and added. The project can also be followed via constant updates on Twitter or our Facebook page.

Why we are doing this...

As you'll see we are not photographing people who ride purely for exercise or recreation, but instead we are focussing on those who use bicycles as an integral tool in their day-to-day existence. We've noticed that in South Africa, especially in the major centers, very few people use bicycles as mode of transport. This is very strange since we have no proper public transport infrastructure, and that which does exist is expensive and unsafe. Given all the benefits of cycling - independence, fitness, cost-effectiveness, environmentally friendly - we would love to encourage the use of bicycles in South Africa amongst all social classes.

We've noticed that as our major centers develop there still seems to be a trend to make cities more friendly for cars, not people. While this might be happening in many places around the world the effect on individuals seems to be very dramatic in a country like South Africa, where there is a growing divide between those who can afford motorised transport and those who struggle to. Owning a bicycle in this social climate can be very empowering, if the correct infrastructure exists.

As you might know, South Africa is a world within one country, home to various cultures, with a tragic history of segregation and racism. Through this project we hope to give people a glimpse into each other lives through a well known object of movement, practicality and joy - the bicycle. Looking at individuals through their, sometimes unconscious, involvement in bicycle culture, we will inadvertently touch on many charged issues like the implementation of public space, lack of infrastructure development and also social problems like class division and unequal wealth distribution, but also perhaps bring those unfamiliar to each other together in their love for a simple thing...

Our long term goal...

Through publishing this book, we want to be able to assist the underprivileged cycling community through our project - be it teaching bicycle maintenance skills, providing necessities like helmets, tires, tubes, locks… It would be great to create a support structure for the people who appear in the book - this could be a trust funded by a percentage from sales of the cover price, or a charity set up in the name of the people who appear in the book etc. Ultimately we want to promote cycling as a means of independent transport to empower the underprivileged, and in fact, to encourage everyone capable to ride a bike as an alternative to driving a car, or even using public transport. We hope that this will lead to the kind of infrastructure development that is designed with all people in mind, not just cars.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read our proposal. We hope you like our project...

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    11 backers

    You get a special mention on our official website for the book.

  • Pledge $5 or more
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    27 backers

    You get a special mention on our official website for the book. And constant updates of new additions as we shoot them (we'll send website links to your email or through our free Bicycle Project iPhone app).

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    17 backers

    We will send you a unique Bicycle Portrait postcard when you pledge, from wherever we are on the road, and you will have access to a private link to the entire book online. And all of the above.

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    140 backers

    FOR $50 (R390) YOU PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE BOOK now and we send it to you as soon as it is launched! We will also send you a unique Bicycle Portrait postcard when you pledge, from wherever we are on the road. And all of the above.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    26 backers

    FOR $100 YOU PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE BOOK now and we send it to you as soon as it is launched, plus you get a lifelong special rate when ordering copies of the book. We will also send you a unique Bicycle Portrait postcard when you pledge, from wherever we are on the road. And all of the above.

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    6 backers Limited (94 left of 100)

    Your name will appear on a special 'Thank you' page in the book, you will receive a free copy of the book when it is launched, and a lifelong special rate when ordering copies of the book. And all of the above.

  • Pledge $750 or more
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    3 backers Limited (47 left of 50)

    You will receive a large professional archival photographic print of your choice of one of the images from the book. Your name will appear on a special 'Thank you' page in the book, you will receive a free copy of the book when it is launched, and a lifelong special rate when ordering copies of the book. And all of the above.

  • Pledge $1,500 or more
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    0 backers Limited (25 left of 25)

    You will receive a limited edition copy of the book signed by the authors and inscribed to you personally. You will receive a large professional archival photographic print of your choice of one of the images from the book. Your name will appear on a special 'Acknowledgements' page in the front of the book. And all of the above.

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    You will receive a very special limited edition copy of the book signed by all the individuals who appear in the book (each on their own page), and of course the authors (who will inscribe it with a personal message to you) and the production team. Your name will be set apart on the special 'Acknowledgments' page in the front of the book. You will receive a large professional archival photographic print of your choice of one of the images from the book. And all of the above.

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Funding period

- (55 days)