UPDATE: LET'S KEEP GOING FOR WIDER DISTRIBUTION IN ETHIOPIA AND THE USA!!!
Thank you so much to everyone for getting this project to its original goal so quickly; no one is more surprised and humbled than me. It is so so exciting that the book is finally going to be published!!
Because of the overwhelming outpouring of support for the project, I am increasing our fundraising goal in order to distribute this book more widely throughout Ethiopia and the United States. I will be back in Ethiopia this fall and will work with the members of Sudden Flowers to produce a special archive edition of the book that will be distributed to organizations, libraries and schools in Ethiopia and that will be incorporated into exhibitions here in the US. My personal aim is to double our initial goal and raise $20,000 for this purpose. Please consider joining us to get this book out to as many people as we can.
(Below is the original description of the project.)
First of all, THANK YOU for coming to this site to learn about the Sudden Flowers Project. If you have any questions email me (email@example.com) or check my website for more information about the project (www.ericgottesman.net).
WHAT I PLAN TO DO: After eleven years of work, I want to publish a book of photographs and texts I have produced with 24 children in one neighborhood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We have spent a long time preparing this and are ready to publish and distribute the book to a wider audience. We just need your help first.
(the book cover)
BACKGROUND: In 1999, I began working with six children living together in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia whose parents had died of HIV/AIDS. I asked them to work with me to portray their own lives through photography. The children agreed to collaborate on the condition that their work be used to help other children like themselves. Soon after, the children formed the collective "Sudden Flowers," a collective dedicated to making art and films about the impact of HIV/AIDS and showing them to audiences around Ethiopia and around the world.
Since then, we have shown our work widely in Ethiopia and confronted the stigma of the disease there. In 2000, Sudden Flowers and I created the first photography exhibition about HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia’s history. Later, we designed a portable exhibition that traveled across Ethiopia to towns and villages, reaching tens of thousands with photographs and educational material.
In addition, Sudden Flowers has produced over 10 short films in Ethiopia, winning acclaim from international institutions such as UNICEF, the Open Society Institute, Harvard University and MTV. We have shown Sudden Flowers' work on five continents.
I saw Mommy Dead. -- Image by Selamawit Alemu
THE BOOK: This book, Sudden Flowers: May The Finest In The World Always Accompany You!, consists of my photography from the early stages of the project, essays and letters by the founding children of Sudden Flowers, photographs taken by the children themselves, family stories and autobiographies they wrote describing their dreams for the future.
While many of the stories and much of the imagery included in the book are heartrending, the book’s core and message lies in the resilient creativity that these children possess and that I was lucky enough to witness time and again. This book will allow others this unique experience as well.
When we raise the money we need here, our book, Sudden Flowers: May The Finest In The World Always Accompany You!, will be published by Umbrage Editions, an esteemed New York photography publisher in an edition of 2,000 and will include both black and white and color photography, as well as accompanying text written by me.
(spreads from the book manuscript)
PRINT-READY DESIGN: By the unbelievably AWESOME Make Believe Collective. 160 pages of goodness. 8.5 x 11 inches. Black and white and color with book-board covers. It is finished and ready to go to press. All we need is the money.
WHAT THE MONEY WILL BE USED FOR: 1) Finalizing the book editing. 2) Printing 2000 copies of the book with Umbrage Editions. 3) Distribution of the book within the United States and Ethiopia. 4) Production of an exhibition of the work in the book at Umbrage Gallery in Brooklyn, New York.
WHY THIS BOOK IS IMPORTANT TO OUR WORK: Sudden Flowers has done a remarkable amount of work to open dialogue through their street art installations in Ethiopia, and they want to become better known within the United States. The book will help us reach a wider international audience and attract attention from potential partners. In addition, we hope to send copies of the book to Sudden Flowers in Ethiopia to help foster the collective’s growth there.
- (58 days)