THE LENS AS EYEWITNESS IN SYRIA


photographer, artist and blogger Just has been observing, perceiving and documenting for a long time now. from the local streets of Berlin to the extreme political and human situation in Syria. through crowd funding on wemakeit.ch, he hopes to supply his future travel to Aleppo with tools necessary to bring awareness about a neglected city and its inhumane conditions. 
 
you can still be a part of it by supporting the project here, where you can also get more information about the motivation behind. Just says the following about the initiative: 
 
Q: what kind of project are you searching funding for and can you tell us about the idea behind the initiative?
 
A: I try to crowd-fund parts of the equipment we'll need to travel back to Aleppo in Syria to check out possible ways to help a psychiatric clinic near the inner-city frontline, which is left by all doctors and suffers under horrible humanitarian conditions. I visited this clinic on my first travel to Syria in December 2012.
 
Q: how was the offline crowd-funding event at PLATOON KUNSTHALLE for you? have you been able to sense an interest in your project from supporters?
 
A: I really believe in the concept of online crowd funding, but I also liked the idea of having a single offline MEET THE MAKERS event (even though I prefer hiding behind my camera or the internet rather than speaking in front of that many people). I really hope the events will continue and that there will be more crowd-funding projects. that night I had a lot of positive reactions and good personal talks for hours.
 
Q: what kind of treats do you have in store for your supporters when they choose to contribute to your project online?
 
A: there are various rewards. the basic is that I'll stay in contact with any supporter by giving them live updates from future travels. besides that, I hand out signed copies of the Swiss REPORTAGEN Magazine that printed my letters from the first Syria travel. there are also limited and signed photo art prints provided by my gallery OPEN WALLS located at Stattbad in Berlin.
 
Q: what kind of reactions have you experienced among your friends and backers? what is their view on your project and crowd funding as financial medium?  
 
A: most of my friends (who are mainly artists and freelancers themselves) and I have known the concept of crowd funding for quite some time now, and we all think that it is a good way of supporting interesting projects, as well as financing our own, mainly non-mainstream projects. the internet gives us great opportunities, like connecting to people all over the planet in a second, and not being controlled and manipulated by publishers or corporates with own interests. the information can go directly to the crowd without someone in between – it’s nonhierarchical.
 
Q: what actions are you planning in order to boost your campaign?
 
A: mainly spreading the info through blogs and via existing networks.
 
fingers crossed. fingers on the keyboard. fingers on the camera lens. and let us push forward!  
 
find out more about Just's travel to Syria in 2012 right here.
 
contributed by Martina Antunovic

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