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March Photo Kickstarters: The Gay Men Project, American, Weird Sports 2, Bronx Documentary Center and Toy Soldiers

By // March 24, 2014 // Posted in Photography, Portrait

Every month, we’re rounding up some of the coolest Kickstarter photography projects that are currently looking for support. This month, we found a project dedicated to photographing and collecting stories from gay men around the world, a documentary photo book that chronicles the great Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moments” around America, the second installation of a “Weird Sports” photo book, a year of community programs at the Bronx Documentary Center and an alternatively playful view of war photography.

The Gay Men Project

Current pledges: $22,902
Pledge goal: $30,000
Last day: April 1, 2014

Kevin Truong began The Gay Men Project around two years ago, and now, having traveled far and wide (to around 400 men in 15 cities in seven countries and four continents around the world, according to his Kickstarter page) on his own dime, this portrait photographer is asking for help to continue what he started. “My goal is to create a platform to challenge stereotypes, and a resource and sense of community for others who may not be as openly gay,” Truong writes on his page. “I think it’s great when a professional athlete comes out, or an actor, or news anchor. But let’s take a moment to celebrate the story of the kid that came out to his high school basketball team as well.” Truong estimates that dedicating himself full time for six months starting in August will allow him to travel to 15 countries and gather more material for eventual exhibitions of the project.

American

Current pledges: $2,389
Pledge goal: $4,000
Last day: April 2, 2014

Though Minnesota-based photographer Linnea Bullion has traveled around the world, she has “hardly explored stateside,” she writes on her Kickstarter. This summer, she plans to change that by taking a road trip around the country with her planner, navigator and friend Johanna Otico to take a photographic survey of America. With a background in photojournalism, Bullion is fascinated by Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment,” or the seemingly ordinary instant that is rendered extraordinary by the freezing of time. With her Kickstarter funding, Bullion will compile these instances into a book called American. “I want to create a time capsule,” Bullion writes on her page. “This is your and my America, and this is what it looks like right now.” American will be Bullion’s third book, which is scheduled for release in October.

Weird Sports 2

live-monster-wrestling

Current pledges: $10,403
Pledge goal: $26,000
Last day: April 14, 2014

Sol Neelman‘s first Weird Sports book (Kehrer Verlag, 2011) received such widespread attention (including getting featured on our sister publication PDN‘s Photo of the Day blog) that the photographer is going in for round two. With his latest Kickstarter project, Neelman wants to make Weird Sports 2, another chronicling of the unusual athletics in which people participate around the world. From lightsaber fencing and chessboxing to lingerie basketball and flaming tetherball, Neelman has photographed nearly 200 weird sports in order to explore the odd activities that bring people together. “This book isn’t about creating a definition of what sports is or is not,” Neelman writes. “It’s about starting a discussion about what role sports play in people’s lives.” The photographer estimates that Weird Sports 2 will become available this coming Fall in Europe and in Spring 2015 in the U.S.

Bronx Documentary Center: One year of programs

Current pledges: $16,085
Pledge goal: $30,000
Last day: April 15, 2014

Back in 2011, a previously abandoned building in the South Bronx became the Bronx Documentary Center (BDC), a place for students, activists, artists and the community to gather to learn about photography, photojournalism and documentary film. Founder and photojournalist Michael Kamber opened the BDC with co-founder Danielle Jackson in honor of fellow photojournalist Tim Hetherington, who shared Kamber’s desire to start an educational photography center in an underserved community but who tragically died in Libya. Since its opening, the BDC has hosted anything from exhibitions and filmmaking panels to workshops and post-screening dance parties. On view currently is “Too Young to Wed,” an exhibition by the Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Stephanie Sinclair. “We believe in the documentary tradition and in the power of photography and film to help build community, expose injustices and create positive social change,” write the founders. Through its Kickstarter page, they hope to raise enough funds for another year of events and activities.

Toy Soldiers

toy-soldiers

Current pledges: £1,378
Pledge goal: £7,000
Last day: April 30, 2014

Photographer Simon Brann Thorpe is a different kind of war photographer; rather than throwing himself into the action of a battle, he recreates combat scenarios by posing the fighters as toy soldiers. “I believe passionately that Toy Soldiers opens a new dialogue for our society’s desensitisation to war through the media and social networks relentless streaming of documentary images,” Thorpe writes. “My goal is to attempt to slow the whole process down and visually arrest a viewer via the blurring of boundaries between what is real and what is not, between documentary and art; to inspire engagement through a fresh approach to the depictions of conflict that we (the audience) have become so numb to.” Collaborating with military commander and chief Mustafa Sidi Bashir, Thorpe took photos of the Polisario soldiers in Mehairez, Western Sahara for the final product, a book called Toy Soldiers.

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Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson

Libby Peterson is the associate editor of Rangefinder. She graduated from Indiana University’s School of Journalism last year and moved to New York, starting off as the magazine's editorial intern. Having had a full-immersion French education growing up in her native Minneapolis, she especially enjoys writing about culture, design, and the arts.

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