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The goal is to donate 1,300 copies of this photo book of Guatemala's civil war to its public schools and universities. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on December 1, 2011.

The goal is to donate 1,300 copies of this photo book of Guatemala's civil war to its public schools and universities.

About this project

Friends:

With 4 hours left, we have surpassed our goal, and "Guatemala's Lost Photographs" is now 113% funded. As Frank Sinatra sang, the ant truly did "move the rubber tree plant." Our Kickstarter team of Kara Andrade, Nadia Sussman, Brad Eller, and Nic Wirtz thanks you. As for me, my heart is full. 

That said, those of you who are cruising the site are asking, "Why do these people ask for more money now that Lost Photographs is in the can?" 

Simple: This is still a bare bones project. Now we can sew the book (yay!), but the rest of the book could also use some TLC. We are using 60 gram Couché paper:  think magazine quality paper. We would prefer to use 100 gram Couché which is what we used for the 2010 coffee table edition. This costs. And, dreaming, we would like a wrap-around cover with inside front and back flaps. It's not just cool: it is practical because it preserves the shelf life of the book. This all costs $$. Please send questions. 

This Kickstarter campaign has two specific goals. The first is to keep the new edition of my book on Guatemala's brutal war accessible to Guatemala's under-30 generation, which constitutes two-thirds of its population but for whom most books are beyond their economic means. The second mission is to donate 30% of the 4,000 print run to Guatemalan schools, which currently have no access to materials on the war.

Although this third edition is partly funded, we need additional funds to fulfill these two goals.

When I arrived in Guatemala in the early 1980s I was a volunteer with Amnesty International, documenting human rights violations in Nebaj, part of the indigenous Maya and rural Ixil Triangle region of Guatemala. I arrived as many people fled the country – escaping the beginning of three decades of civil war, disappearances, mass murders and a scorched-earth policy that would lay waste to the lives and villages of thousands of indigenous people. I was one of the few people at the time taking pictures of the violence, the army garrisons, the guerrillas and their encampments, the empty villages, the dead and displaced people. Little did I know that with every photo I was creating a historical memory of the armed conflict from a period in Guatemala’s history that many would not talk about, many still do not acknowledge -- and those who remember are still, thirty years later, reluctant to discuss.


My photographs of Guatemala's civil war were first published as “Guatemala: Eternal Spring Eternal Tyranny” (WW Norton). The book sold 20,000 copies. The images in the book now comprise the only complete set of photographs of that period in Guatemalan history. In 2010, I published a Spanish language edition of the same book in Guatemala, which was first on the bestseller list and sold out in six months. 

In November, I am publishing a new student edition of my book to teach Guatemalan schoolchildren, especially rural and semi-literate schoolchildren, about the war in a more visual way.  There is a need to distribute this book to Guatemalans, especially schoolchildren, who have little information about the war. The need for a photography book to accomplish this is especially urgent in Guatemala, where 70 percent of the rural population is illiterate or semi-literate and where the predominance of Mayan languages adds an extra challenge in disseminating important information. Photographs break through linguistic and poverty barriers. Funding will go towards publishing and distributing the book to offset printing costs, and for teacher guides, press packets, and travel funds to take the book into the Guatemalan countryside where it is most needed.

This is the only book of photographs that covers Guatemala’s brutal war. It is important to make it accessible in towns that need it most and for people who will use it for teaching the history of Guatemala’s armed conflict.

BUDGET

$6000: Sewn binding for four thousand copies

$1000: New National Geographic scan expenses

$2000  Website work  

$1000: For book designer

$1000: Teacher and curriculum consultant  

$1000: CD with photos

$1500: Launch expenses (publicity events)

$ 500:  Postcards for book launch

$ 500:  Payment to editor

$2500: Fundraising and campaign work 

$ 500:  Printing and reproduction costs for Kickstarter prizes

$2000: Author travel to Guatemala (3 trips)

TOTAL: $19,500

Budget includes  U.S. tax liability and the Kickstarter fee

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En Español

Cuando llegué a Guatemala en los años 80, llegué como voluntaria de Amnistía Internacional, documentando las violaciones a los derechos humanos en Nebaj, parte de los pueblos Mayas y área rural del triángulo Ixil guatemalteco.  Llegué mientras muchas personas huían del país – huían del comienzo de tres décadas de guerra civil, desapariciones, asesinatos masivos y la política de tierras quemadas que arrasó con las vidas y pueblos de miles de personas indígenas.  Yo fui de las pocas personas de aquella época que tomaba fotos de la violencia, de la guarnición del ejército, la guerrilla y sus campamentos, los pueblos vacíos, las personas muertas y desplazadas.  Con cada fotos yo estaba creando una memoria histórica del conflicto armado, pero eso no lo sabía,  en un período de la historia de Guatemala del que muchas personas aún no hablan, muchos aún no reconoces – y aquellos quienes lo recuerdan aún, treinta años más tarde, se muestran renuentes a discutirlo.

Mis fotografías de la guerra civil de Guatemala fueron publicadas por primera vez como “Guatemala: Eterna Primavera Eterna Tiranía” (WW Norton). El libro vendió 20,000 copias.   Las imágenes del libro forman el único conjunto fotográfico completo de ese período de la historia de Guatemala.  En el 2010, publiqué la versión en español del mismo libro, en Guatemala, y estuvo en el primer lugar de los más vendidos, se agotó en seis meses.

En noviembre publicaré una nueva versión estudiantil de mi libro con el fin de enseñar a los escolares guatemaltecos acerca de la guerra de una forma más visual.  Hay una gran necesidad de distribuir este libro en Guatemala, especialmente a niños de edad escolar quienes tienen poca información sobre la guerra. 

La necesidad de un libro fotográfico para lograr este objetivo tiene una urgencia especial en Guatemala, donde 70 por ciento de la población rural es analfabeta o semi-alfabeta y donde el predominio de las lenguas mayas suma un reto en la distribución de información.  La fotografía rompe las barreras lingüísticas y de la pobreza.  El financiamiento será invertido en la publicación y distribución del libro para cubrir los costos de impresión, para crear guías para los maestros, paquetes de prensa, y fondos para viajar y llevar el libro a las áreas rurales de Guatemala donde su necesidad es mayor.

Este es el único libro de fotografías que cubre la guerra brutal de Guatemala.  Es muy importante que los pueblos que más lo necesitan tengan acceso a él y que las personas lo utilicen como un recurso al enseñar la historia del conflicto armado guatemalteco.

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    26 backers

    Your very own stash of Guatemalan worry dolls handpicked by Jean-Marie Simon.

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    28 backers

    An autographed postcard with original color photo from the author's Spanish-edition book.

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    5 backers

    A CD with five of Jean-Marie’s photographs from the English-language edition of her book.

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    10 backers All gone!

    All of the above plus a one-night stay for two people at the lovely Hotel Tolimán in San Lucas Tolimán, Sololá! (http://www.hoteltoliman.com)

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    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    All of the above plus a one-night stay for two people at the lovely Hotel Tolimán in San Lucas Tolimán, Sololá! (http://www.hoteltoliman.com)

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    7 backers

    A DVD of "Titular de Hoy" which features Jean-Marie Simon reporting during the 1980s.

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    All of the above plus an original uncorrected proof page created for the first printing of Guatemala: eterna primavera, eterna tiranía. The proof page contains a color photo and the caption.

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    9 backers

    An original, framed Kodachrome transparency from Jean-Marie Simon's collection of photos taken during the civil war, with corresponding caption.

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    28 backers

    A copy of the third edition of Guatemala: eterna primavera, eterna tiranía (January 2012). This edition contains 206 color photographs including 100 previously unpublished images.

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    19 backers

    A glossy 10 inch by 12 inch color photograph from the author’s Spanish-edition book, printed by National Geographic Imaging.

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    3 backers

    10"x12" color photo from Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny printed at National Geographic Imaging, Washington DC and a copy of Guatemala: eterna primavera, eterna tiranía.

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    11 backers

    A copy of the sold-out edition of Guatemala: Eterna Primavera, Eternal Tiranía (2010).

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    2 backers

    A rare cotton hand-woven huipil (embroidered Mayan blouse) made by widows, from Guatemala’s highlands.

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    All of the above plus a copy of the sold-out collector's edition of Guatemala: Eternal Spring, Eternal Tyranny (WW Norton, 1988)

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    All of the above and Jean-Marie will offer a two-hour photojournalism class for up to 10 individuals. Time and place to be mutually decided. Participants must be 14 years old above. Class includes appropriate junk food.

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    All of the above plus five copies of the 2011 edition of Guatemala: eterna primavera, eterna tiranía. (This third edition includes "A" list photos that were not published in previous editions.

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    Mike Tallon, caveman extraordinaire and the ultimate interviewer of La Cuadra fame, and Jean-Marie will offer drinks (2 per person, after that you're on your own) for up to 10 people at No Sé on a dark and windy night in Antigua. Mike will ask JM five questions that photographers never get asked. JM will answer them. JM will give each attendee a copy of Guatemala: eterna primavera, eterna tiranía. This reward is perfect for the Safe Passage crowd or other NGOs with a massive presence in Antigua.

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    Pledge $1500 and Jean-Marie will buy you and three other people dinner at Cafe Olé in Washington DC or at la Mezquita, Guatemala City followed by a screening of Titular de hoy: Guatemala which features president-elect Otto Pérez Molina carrying out scorched earth with his troops in Nebaj; U.S. Green Beret Jesse García teaching Guatemalan troops counterinsurgency tactics in Guatemala despite a ban on U.S. military aid; and a host of other goodies in this 50-minute film by Mikael Wahlforss, Epidem films. Get the scoop on how this film was made in 1982, and why it was mothballed for almost 30 years.

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    All of the above plus author group discussion on the challenges in photojournalism including coffee and dessert with Jean-Marie Simon. Replete with stories about life in Guatemala in the 1980s. Goodie bag included!

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    All of the above plus an out of print poster issued by Amnesty International in 1981 when it published its report, Guatemala: A Government Program of Political Murder.

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