We made it! We love you, backers! Now we can add an extra special stretch goal. If we make it to $14,000 by Friday morning, we will be able to create a hard cover book with premium paper that tells the story of Picture.Me.Here. from 2012 until today, including our Nepal project! This book will feature select photos and stories from all of our participants to date and will also feature instructors' photos. We will be able to sell this on our website and at exhibits to continue generating interest and support for our growing program.
Picture.Me.Here (PMH) is a photographic, digital storytelling program for refugees based in Denver. We teach photography, audio and video storytelling as powerful communication tools for social engagement, community building and integration. PMH projects culminate in exhibits and events that bring together diverse groups to view photographs, hear stories and build new friendships.
Our participants often express how much they wish they had a camera while still living in the camps. This inspired an idea that will soon become a reality! In April 2014, PMH cofounders Lauren Dorn, Erin Preston and Brigid McAuliffe will venture to Nepal to the Beldangi refugee camp where many of our participants once lived. We will bring cameras, provide interpreters and teach two weeks of classes with 20 participants. We'll work with participants that will soon resettle in Colorado. The participants will keep the cameras after we leave, so they can continue documenting their lives and the journey of resettlement. We'll continue working with them when they arrive in Colorado!
We’ll have three exhibits featuring their work, one in Denver, one in Kathmandu and a wheatpasting exhibit in the camp (a form of street art) that we will install with our Beldangi participants. Our exhibits in Aurora and Kathmandu will open on World Refugee Day (June 20th, 2014).
With your support we will be able to travel to Nepal, provide two weeks of photography and storytelling classes, purchase cameras and additional supplies for 20 participants, curate three exhibits and create some wonderful rewards for you. $12,000 is the minimum needed to cover these basics. If we surpass these goals, we will be able to produce higher quality books and exhibits, and possibly a short documentary about the project. So the more support we receive, the more we can do! If/when this happens, we will provide a detailed list of "stretch goals" for the project. Your donation can be partly tax deductible (minus the value of the reward). Please contact us for details.
The United Nations Refugee Agency will grant us access to the camps and help us find participants that may soon resettle to Denver. Family members of our current participants still live in the camp and we hope to work with them. We will bring photos and stories by our local participants to share their perspectives of living in the United States. We hope to foster an international dialogue between our Denver participants and those still living in Nepal.
We will also collaborate with the Youth Friendly Center, a youth leadership organization in the camp that will continue to offer guidance to the participants after we leave. We will leave the cameras with the organization so that the participants can continue to document their lives. By starting at this critical point the Beldangi participants will be able to document the people and places they must leave behind, the long journey to their new home and their first impressions of resettlement. They will also be welcomed by the PMH community when they arrive in Colorado.
With your support we can make this adventure a reality! We hope you'll pledge - any amount is greatly appreciated. Honestly we will send you loads of virtual hugs and high fives. Please spread the word and encouragement by sharing our campaign with your friends, family and colleagues. The rewards we're offering will show you how grateful we are, and how much we want you to be there with us every step of the way. Your donation can be partly tax deductible (minus the value of the reward) due to our non profit partner, the Colorado Photographic Arts Center. Please contact us with questions.
We thank you in advance and please know that you will be part of this exciting project... one that celebrates the universal language of photography and the power of sharing stories… one that empowers voices that deserve to be heard.
We are very grateful for your support.
धेरै धेरै धन्यवाद
(Thank you so much in Nepali)
Brigid, Erin and Lauren
Here is what some of our students have to say about learning photography and the Picture.Me.Here. program:
Risks and challenges
Traveling to relatively remote areas of a developing country always has its challenges. We imagine that getting all photo files back to the US shouldn't be a problem, but you never know. We will constantly back up our files to multiple hard drives to ensure that all the files are happy and in tact.
We cannot control how long it will take the Nepalese postal system to get your postcards to you, however we will be putting our best thoughts forward. It may take a little while.
The exhibit in Kathmandu will also be a challenge since we will have to be creative with how the photos are printed and exhibited. It's possible that we will stay a bit longer in Nepal to have them printed in Kathmandu. However, we cannot promise that both exhibits will be exactly the same. We can promise that the exhibit in both Denver and Kathmandu will tell a great story and it's one we hope you will like.
Designing magazines and books showcasing the photographs and stories take a lot of time and patience. They can also take some time to get printed. We are excited to make these for those of you pledging at that level. These items will reach you by the end of August, but perhaps earlier. We appreciate your patience!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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