$5,452
pledged of 15.500 $pledged of 15.500 $ goal
52
backers
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, November 14 2015 5:16 PM UTC +00:00
Matthew O'BrienBy Matthew O'Brien
First created
Matthew O'BrienBy Matthew O'Brien
First created
$5,452
pledged of 15.500 $pledged of 15.500 $ goal
52
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sat, November 14 2015 5:16 PM UTC +00:00

About

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 We live only to discover beauty.  All else is a form of waiting.

Vivimos para descubrir la belleza.  Lo demás es una espera.

–Kahlil Gibran

Many thanks to all the supporters and future supporters! We did not reach the goal, but learned and achieved a lot, including this feature in The Washington Post https://goo.gl/dEH36M the day before the campaign ended --timing! I will continue to work toward the goal of wide distribution of the book. A limited number of books-- beautifully printed in Madrid-- are available at www.nodarpapaya.com  and feel free to contact me at nodarpapayabook@gmail.com. Your support is much appreciated.

Colombia is a fascinating, beautiful country with tremendous geographic and cultural diversity. Internationally, however, that is not how the country is portrayed. Before first traveling to Colombia in 2003 to photograph, friends and family in the US were concerned for my safety. My mother cried because she thought she might never see me again.

To be sure, there is an armed conflict in Colombia, now in its fifty-first year, and the illicit drug trade has had far-reaching effects on Colombian society.  Over those five decades, many thousands of people have been killed and displaced by violence. But, there’s so much more to Colombia than ubiquitous stories of violence, desperation, and misery might lead one to believe. 

 No Dar Papaya offers a different vision of Colombia, one that recognizes the beauty in the everyday.

There was no goal to create an alternative, it evolved that way because I’m not drawn to violence and misery. I’m drawn to beauty, and there is so much of it in Colombia. My response was to create these photographs, and that beauty is what I share in this book, twelve years in the making.  The book offers an intimate experience, and goes beyond what's in the news media: the overlooked beauty, cultural richness, creativity, joy, and individuality.  In the pages of No Dar Papaya you'll encounter a vision of Colombia that may change your impressions of this country and its people.

Background 

In 2004 I was invited to exhibit Royal Colombia at the Museo de Arte Moderno in Cartagena and at the Centro Colombo Americano in Medellín, as well as to teach photography in several universities. More invitations to return to Colombia followed, and I would always bring my Polaroid camera, creating photos over eleven years.

I was inspired to convey some of the beauty, culture, creativity, and uniqueness that was all around me. 

A Fulbright Fellowship in 2010 allowed me to continue work on the project. In 2013 the project was complete, and in 2014 Icono Editorial in Bogotá published the book, and there were accompanying exhibitions of No Dar Papaya in several cities in Colombia.  The work was well received and got a lot of attention from the media (please see Press section below).

Exhibitions in Medellín, Santa Marta, and Pereira
Exhibitions in Medellín, Santa Marta, and Pereira

Now

We (many who have collaborated with me) want to share this vision of Colombia with the public in the United States to foster cross-cultural understanding between the U.S. and Latin America, and we need support to do that. It’s expensive to produce a beautiful book of photography. As is common these days with photography books, the artist has to come up with funding. Up until now, the project has been largely self-funded, which allowed me the freedom to create the work and get this far with the project. But now, in order to publish the book in the United States and share this vision of Colombia with the public here (and beyond), funds need to be raised to contribute to the cost of producing the book, which is why I am looking for funding through Kickstarter. I would be grateful for your support, and very happy to give you a beautiful book in return.

If we manage to reach our goal, it will be only a matter of weeks until the book will be available here in the US, and in time for Christmas. Any funds raised beyond the goal will allow us to expand our outreach and donate books to schools and libraries in Colombia and in the U.S.

Any pledge amount brings us closer to our goal of launching the book and sharing this vision of Colombia with the world. The way Kickstarter works is all or nothing-- we must reach the goal or none of the support pledged will be received. Please click the “Back This Project” button at the top of the page and help us spread the word by sharing this page with others. Thank you!

No Dar Papaya? 

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Why Polaroid?

I love the the distinctive look of Polaroid. The nature of the camera and film requires a different, more deliberate approach to photographing than other formats I've worked with. It was the perfect medium for what I wanted to convey in Colombia.  Polaroid film is no longer made.  We are surrounded by digital photos and can become inured to them. For me these Polaroid photographs are less about the descriptive and more about the emotional content. I’ve never come across a body of work of this scope created with Polaroid 600 film.

 Juan Alberto Gaviria Vélez

Juan Alberto Gaviria Vélez, visionary curator from Medellín, has written the introduction to No Dar Papaya. His knowledge of both historical and contemporary art in Colombia is vast, and his commitment to using art to improve the lives of people unrivaled. He is the founder of Desearte Paz, an innovative program in Medellín which brings art and artists to schools and communities to provide opportunities to and enrich the lives of youth in the city. I have had the privilege of working with Juan Alberto on several occasions including as a volunteer instructor with Desearte Paz, and I am honored that he has written the introduction.

The Book

  • Hardcover, embossed front and spine
  • 23.5 x 30cm (9.25 x 11.8in)
  • 128 pages
  • 190 Polaroid photographs
  • In English and Spanish

Because the text is minimal (the introduction by Juan Alberto and an essay by me) we've been able to create an elegant design and make it bilingual, equally accessible to readers of English and Spanish.

Other Rewards

Prints

San Andrés, 2005 (please see Rewards #7 and #12)
San Andrés, 2005 (please see Rewards #7 and #12)
Medellín, 2004 (please see Reward #8)
Medellín, 2004 (please see Reward #8)
Cartagena, 2010 (please see Reward #11)
Cartagena, 2010 (please see Reward #11)
Capurganá, el Chocó, 2011 (please see Reward #10)
Capurganá, el Chocó, 2011 (please see Reward #10)

Cards

#1  Santa Claus in Bogotá Holiday Cards

Santa Claus in Bogotá holiday cards (please see Reward #1)
Santa Claus in Bogotá holiday cards (please see Reward #1)

#2  No Dar Papaya Greeting Cards

No Dar Papaya greeting cards (please see Reward #2)
No Dar Papaya greeting cards (please see Reward #2)
Complete set of 6 No Dar Papaya greeting cards (please see Reward #2)
Complete set of 6 No Dar Papaya greeting cards (please see Reward #2)

Press

The Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-sight/wp/2015/11/13/beyond-the-headlines-is-a-beautiful-and-vibrant-colombia/

Medium:

https://medium.com/vantage/if-somebody-leaves-a-papaya-you-better-grab-it-3ba5f0802d8a

Lenscratch:

http://lenscratch.com/2015/10/matthew-obrien-no-dar-papaya/

The Phoblographer:

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2015/10/29/no-dar-papaya/#.VkWZkukSuGV

Fusion:

http://fusion.net/story/229820/vintage-polaroid-photos-lend-a-grainy-charm-to-colombia-thats-ignored-by-tv-shows-like-narcos/

All About Photo:

http://www.all-about-photo.com/article.php?title=matt-obrien-no-dar-papaya&id=121

The Daily Californian:

http://www.dailycal.org/2015/10/09/interview-photographer-matt-obrien-on-colombia-art-and-his-new-book/

Fototazo:

http://www.fototazo.com/2013/10/portfolio-matt-obrien-no-dar-papaya_25.html

No Dar Papaya in the Colombian media

Primetime national nightly newscast on Caracol:

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  • Off
    • English

Primer Café, Canal Capital:

https://vimeo.com/109740154

Mañanas con Uno, Canal Uno:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcNTy_-t3_I

El Espectador:

http://www.elespectador.com/entretenimiento/unchatcon/colombia-de-matthew-obrien-articulo-535462

Arcadia:

http://www.revistaarcadia.com/libros/galeria/colombia-polaroid/40684

The Bogotá Post (in English):

http://thebogotapost.com/2015/03/04/colombia-snapped-up/

Special thanks to Los Músicos de Pereira for the music in the video.

Other Work

Work from a couple of projects I did in northern California, where I was born and live, can be found on these two sites:

www.lookingforhope.net 

www.flysfo.com/museum/exhibitions/matthew-james-obrien-back-ranch  

Risks and challenges

The greatest challenges of creating the photographs over eleven years, and getting the book published in Colombia have been successfully completed. Time-consuming tasks that can derail a project or lead to delays are largely all behind us. Now, to bring the book to the United States and to share it with an international public, it’s just a question of funding its publication here. Everything is ready to go!

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    With all rewards comes my gratitude for your support.

    1. Feliz Navidad! A set of three holiday cards (6 x 4.25 inches) with envelopes featuring Santa Claus himself in Bogotá (please scroll down to see Reward #1). Blank inside so you can express something special to someone special.

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    2. A set of six greeting cards (6 x 4.25 inches) with envelopes, each with a different image from No Dar Papaya (please scroll down to see Reward #2). Blank inside so you can express something special to someone special.

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    3. Early Bird Special! A signed first edition copy of the book (there will be fewer than 1000 copies in the U.S.) and an invitation to the book launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. FREE shipping in the U.S.

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    4. A signed first edition copy of the book (there will be fewer than 1000 copies in the U.S.) and an invitation to the book launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. FREE shipping in the U.S.

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    5. A signed first edition copy of the book (there will be fewer than 1000 copies in the U.S.), a set of six greeting cards (please see Reward #2) and an invitation to the book launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. FREE shipping in the U.S.

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    6. Two signed first edition copies of the book (because it will make an excellent gift for the holidays!) and an invitation to the book launch in the San Francisco Bay Area. FREE shipping in the U.S.

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    7. A signed first edition copy of the book and an 8x10-inch limited-edition chromogenic print from the series (the image on the cover of the book, from San Andrés, 2005, please see image under Rewards), signed and numbered, available to Kickstarter backers only, and an invitation to the book launch in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    8. A signed first edition copy of the book and an 8x10-inch limited-edition chromogenic print from the series (detail of Botero sculpture, Medellín, 2004, please see image under Rewards), signed and numbered, available to Kickstarter backers only, and an invitation to the book launch in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    9. A signed first edition copy of the book and an hour-long portfolio review/consultation with Matt O'Brien to discuss your photography, projects, exhibitions, books, Colombia, etc. in San Francisco and thereabouts, or via Skype. FREE shipping in the U.S. (or personal delivery).

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    10. A signed first edition copy of the book and a 10x15-inch limited-edition chromogenic print from the series (coastal scene from Capurganá, Chocó, 2011, please see image under Rewards), signed and numbered, available to Kickstarter backers only, and an invitation to the book launch in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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    11. A signed first edition copy of the book and a 10x15-inch limited-edition chromogenic print from the series (fishing scene, Cartagena, 2010, please see image under Rewards), signed and numbered, available to Kickstarter backers only, and an invitation to the book launch in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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    12. A signed first edition copy of the book and a special 24x30-inch chromogenic print (the size of the exhibition prints featured in the video) of the cover image (the image on the cover of the book, from San Andrés, 2005, please see image under Rewards), signed and numbered in an edition of seven. A special offer available only through this Kickstarter campaign.

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Funding period

- (40 days)