Hi All, I'm really happy I reached my goal so quickly, thanks to your wonderful support! But since there is lots of time left I'd like to try and go above and beyond. Please spread the word and help me make this project a success!
WHY? A life of Holocaust education has left me with many questions about Poland, its people's involvement in the Holocaust, and Polish-Jewish relations. Years ago, I read an article in the New York Times describing controversy over a disco that had been built within a mile of the Auschwitz. International pressure mounted and the disco was shut down, but it sparked questions I feel are the West's collective unconscious: What happened to the Polish people after the Holocaust? And What is the current state of Polish-Jewish relations? I've been exposed ad infinitum to Jewish history following the war, but was left wondering about the country where 3 million Jews had lived for 700 years. How do Poles feel now about what happened? Why would a person choose to live near a death camp, or do they have any choice?
I have no intention of providing concrete answers to my questions, nor do I think there are comprehensive conclusions to be drawn. All I have is my curiosity, my camera, and the desire to confront my uncertainty through experience. I believe complex images can help increase dialogue, and hopefully provide some understanding between people on opposite sides of the world.
HOW? For several months I have been preparing, learning Polish, researching about the town of Oswiecim and the history of Auschwitz, and making contacts there. I expect to work in Poland from Feb 18 - May 1, but will stay longer if the funds last. I'm traveling with a colleague, Celia Tobin, who will handle the audio/video component. When the project is complete I expect to exhibit the images and participate in lectures on the subject. I will also be producing short videos and written articles for online distribution, hopefully through prominent magazines I am in touch with. I am willing to travel with the exhibit anywhere a hand is extended.
WHO? I'm a freelance photojournalist, so for this project I'm working independently, without the direct support of an organization or publication. Check out my website at http://dannyghitis.com, and project updates at http://dannyghitis.blogspot.com. You can e-mail me with any questions or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
HOW THESE FUNDS WILL BE USED For airfare, room and board, and internal travel in Poland. I am shooting digitally so film and processing isn't necessary. I don't expect to profit directly from the contributions, as I'll use them to extend my stay in Poland as long as possible. Upon returning to the U.S., funds will be used for printing and framing images, traveling and setting up exhibits and lectures.
- (89 days)