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For generations mining the rich gold hills of Mindanao in the Philippines has been a dangerous "family" business for thousands. Read more

Spokane, WA Journalism
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$1,699
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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on July 14, 2012.

For generations mining the rich gold hills of Mindanao in the Philippines has been a dangerous "family" business for thousands.

Spokane, WA Journalism
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About this project

This project will create a focused and compelling photo-documentary of the recent phenomenon of increased black market gold mining due to the financial collapse of major world economies such as the European Union and the United States. 

With the price of gold at all-time highs and projected to increase further, thousands of impoverished families in all parts of the world have relocated from traditional family locations and into remote, undeveloped gold districts.  These moves of desperation provide harsh, and unforgiving livelihoods. They are generally controlled by financiers, rebels and local politicians who have a invested interest in increased gold production.  The recovery process is environmentally devastating, harmful to personal health and the future of any offspring these families may have.

Many children are prohibited from attending school and work the mines with their parents, daily being exposed to mercury, cyanide, and dangerous vapors. Malnutrition and health ailments are common in these remote mining camps. The mortality rate is tragically high.

This is not an isolated problem limited to one region of the world. These squatter mines are all over the world: South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and are mostly unregulated.  Landslides, cave-ins, lack of safety equipment, corruption and crime are just part of the day-to-day existence.

An ideal area to portray this increasingly common global phenomenon is the Pantukan gold mining district within the Compostela Valley on the Island of Mindanao in the Philippines. Here, gold veins dissect the mountains and have created a major gold rush as tens of thousands flood the gold rich valleys.  And this story is repeated over and over in similar areas on the island in areas such as Monkayo, Diwalwal, and Maragusan. 

The economic potential of "the ridge" is enough to lift the Philippines from out of poverty and reclaim its previous developed nation status.  We’ll capture the lives, the hardships, and the joys these families experience and in the end, hopefully, will have a book that touches the hearts and minds of those who have the opportunity to experience it, while at the same time teaching them that all decisions made and financial realities experienced, have unintended consequences for people all over the world.

This is a global crisis, our people are our most precious resource, especially our children. The land, contaminated with mercury and cyanide laced sediment will take centuries to recover. If we desire to extract these resources, then it is critical that the ultimate stewards of the earth, the central governments, enforce sustainable and efficient mining practices that protect the environment.

How we are going to do it:

Our team will fly into Manila and then Davao City on Mindanao. Local officials have already been organized to provide briefings on the region, transportation into Pantukan, and living arrangements have been coordinated with local residents.

The team will live with local mining families for 3-4 weeks, documenting theirs, and their neighbors lives as small scale miners. An emphasis will be placed on the children growing up in this lifestyle. Digital recorders will be used in interviews, photos and videos will be made. Backers will be contacted and updated regularly.

At the end of the trip the team will head back to Manila and begin the process of putting together the finished product - a book containing compelling images, the personal stories of local miners, and the dreams of their mining children.

https://www.facebook.com/GoldenHandsDocumentary

Travel Itinerary:

August 12 - Fly to the Philippines

August 17 - Arrive on "the ridge"

September 8 - Team returns to Davao City

September 13 - Team returns to USA

Funding will be used to:

1. Rent extra gear for the documentary

2. Cover the cost of checking gear containers on flights

3. Pay for transportation in and out of the region (atv's)

4. Compensate locals for our time in the community (food, gas, etc)

5. Purchase safety equipment for the team
6. Backer Rewards!!! Prints, Post cards, books

7. Print, Promote, Publish, Ship, and Distribute the finished book

Music in the video above by: http://soundcloud.com/alexptic/for-two

FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    $1 reward

    1 backer

    Anything helps. And your contribution will undoubtably be the one that pushes us over the finish line. For that, you're name will be added to the credits page of the website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $10 reward

    6 backers

    Those donating $10 will be added to the photo gallery of donors on the website.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $15 reward

    5 backers

    Everyone pledging $15 or more will get the "outtakes" reel from filming. I'm a photographer and when I'm in front of the camera it's interesting to say the least. WORTH the $15

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $35 reward

    7 backers

    This is so generous of you! Your donation will get you a biography blurb on the book website along with a personal thank you post card mailed to you from the Author.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $75 reward

    5 backers

    All of reward 3 plus: This donation will get you a signed copy of 'Golden Hands' with a personal thank you from the photographer/author.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $100 reward

    0 backers

    All of the $35 and $75 reward plus: A limited edition post card featuring a photo of the project and note of thanks from the author will be sent to you.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $175 reward

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    THIS IS A ONE OF A KIND REWARD. In addition to all of the rewards in the $100 backer level, you will get the last printed copy of the nfoto 2011 Table Top book. That means you get TWO autographed books from Nick Henderson!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    1 backer

    All of reward 3 and 4 plus: A limited edition print will be sent to you featuring the photographers signature on one of the emotional and awe-inspiring images created.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $500 reward

    1 backer

    All of the $35 and $100 reward plus: A special edition version of the book will be sent to you with a canvas print of the image. This book will have a limited edition cover. You will also be added to the front page donors list in all of the books.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $1,000 reward

    0 backers

    All of the $35 and $100 reward plus: Your donation will get you the Special Edition and Canvas print as well as a short film produced on location from during the trip. You will be added to the Hall of Honor, get a personal Skype call from Mindanao from the author, and have VIP honors at the release in Spokane, WA.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $5,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    All of the $35, $100, and $1000 reward plus: Pack your bags! Grab a camera! You or someone you love is coming with the photographer into the mines of Mindanao. *Due to the harsh conditions, steep terrain, persons traveling to Mindanao must be fully mobile, self contained, and legal to travel outside their country and TO the Philippines.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    You will receive the $35, $100, and $1000 reward plus: Travel with the photographer to the region, and integrate with the community. When we get back to the USA you and your family will have a private presentation by the photographer/author in the venue of your arrangement featuring the images before the books are even sent to be printed. Your photos will be used in the published books and you will be listed as the co-author and publisher. You'll be invited to speak at the release in Spokane, WA.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    You will receive the $35, $100, and $1000 reward. Also I will travel to your location in the USA and give a series of workshops over a weekend.

    Workshop #1: Will take place in the evening and be a presentation of 'Golden Hands' and a Q&A session.

    Workshop #2: This will be a photojournalism workshop in the town/city. We will spend the day on a "photo walk" and I will teach the finer points of photo-documentation.

    Workshop #3: Publishing. This will teach you how I went about making the finished product. Not only printing and layout, but will also serve as a networking study as well.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (59 days)