Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Too Young To Die

I have been breeding on this idea for a while to create a network of like-minded partners; organizations and individuals; a dynamic and diverse coalition of artists, activists and social entrepreneurs who produce and support initiatives, ambitious creative projects of various kinds with a progressive, humanistic cause. In my blog post Russian Roulette I talk about what it means to be a filmmaker today, which has a lot to do with building an infrastructure.

I took the first step: A few weeks back I came across an article in the Huffington Post about Chicago-based photographer Carlos Javier Ortiz and his project Too Young To Die, which is dedicated to documenting and raising awareness for the problem of youth violence on the streets of Chicago – not a Chicago-specific issue obviously but one of many major urban and suburban centers around the world.

© Carlos Javier Ortiz
Too Young To Die is a work-in-progress of a 30-minute documentary, a traveling exhibition of Carlos' photographic work documenting the violence, the grief and the hope and a book accompanying the exhibit. Not only does Carlos have an intuitive eye for situational beauty, his excellent work comes with a message you can't ignore. Going through his websites I realized we had a somewhat similar approach to our work and I decided to email him with a proposition to team up creatively, logistically and philosophically. 

On a Friday in late March we had a first talk over the phone and I think we might be onto something. We decided to establish a dialogue about our process and progress to see in what ways we can support each other on our projects, on taking them on the road and how to further our causes. It is an experiment and this will have to grow over time but especially with the emergence of Social Media I strongly believe in grassroots networks like this as a potential economic, creative and spiritual support system for young artists, craftsmen and women and social and creative entrepreneurs. 

Funding Too Young To Die

To make Too Young To Die a reality Carlos is raising funds and these funds come in part from people like you. By way of one of the most fascinating Internet phenomenons of the recent years - Crowdfunding - a whole new level of participation opens up to the traditionally passive and sidelined audience. It's the Democratization of Art. Kickstarter is a platform that facilitates this new exchange between creator and audience, the people with an interest in seeing certain projects succeed.

Carlos took his project there not only to find the necessary financial backing but to grow the community that exists around the issues of Too Young To Die. And you can get involved too. Contribute an amount of your choice and you not only become a vital part of the project but you will receive some great rewards in return. Have a look right here.

If you are active in a similar way and would like to discuss options for a partnership or active collaboration don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Leave a comment on any of our platforms or email me.

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