Hey! I know a story that needs telling, and I'm going to need your help to do it.
I'm developing a documentary photography project in collaboration with International Bridges to Justice (IBJ), an amazing non-profit, non-governmental organization that works worldwide to protect the basic legal rights of ordinary citizens in countries with transitional justice systems.
In a few short weeks I will head to Colombia to begin documenting the work of a public defender and 2011 IBJ JusticeMakers Fellow from Medellín as she implements her grant-winning innovative project focused on protecting the rights of young victims of arbitrary arrest, and strengthening the criminal justice system in her community. (Check out this video about the JusticeMakers Fellows from 2008!)
In Medellín, an atmosphere of conflict is created by police who are often working in collusion with illegal armed groups that engage in mafia practices and aim to recruit young people for war. Young people are often arbitrarily arrested due to police profiling based on the way they are dressed or gathered, and are forced to spend the night in police cells where they are subject to inhumane conditions and torture. Such arbitrary arrests are in violation of the Colombian Constitution and present permanent risk to the protection of basic legal rights.
The public defender whose efforts I will be documenting has worked to protect human rights and promote active non-violence in Medellín for years, and she has become a 2011 IBJ JusticeMakers Fellow because of her project proposal that will directly address these issues about youth rights. As part of her project she will provide direct representation to victims of arbitrary arrest, conduct legal trainings for criminal defense lawyers on best practices, and develop a training manual for youth informing them of their rights and encouraging them to demand those rights in the case of arrest or accusation. Finally, she will document and publish it all on her blog in an effort to increase transparency and make visible to the national and international community the abuses perpetrated by the police.
My role is to give her work a visual voice. I need you to help me tell her story.
In order to make this documentary project happen, I'm raising funds here on KickStarter and giving great gifts to you lovely supporters! Your pledge will go towards securing travel arrangements, accommodation and additional camera equipment. My KickStarter goal is to raise $1,000 towards these costs. Ultimately the project will cost at least half as much more to complete so please help me meet, or even pass, that goal – your generosity is so greatly needed and appreciated, and will make this project incredible.
To learn more about this project and about IBJ's work, please visit:
Or contact yours truly at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Thank you for your love and support.