For a period of time in which we were trusted with exhibition program organizing in the Artget Gallery, which operates within Cultural Centre of Belgrade, the budget we got from the city and from the Ministry of Culture and Media was exactly enough to print 14 catalogues for 14 exhibitions we plan to present in that period of time.
Other than exhibitions of authors who are coming not only from the country and region, but from around the world (see PDF presentation), we have created a program for a five-day Photo Fair, and moreover, we arranged throughout the whole season lectures and conversations with authors involved. We have already invested our personal funds, as well as our time, for which we do not expect any kind of material compensation.
However, to be able to offer you, as our audience, the best program possible, we are lacking funds to arrange for three exquisite authors to come to Belgrade. These authors are significant not only for their personal art projects, but also for their influence on status of photography in society today and also as authors of texts, speakers and pillars of community in theire respective areas of work: Donald Weber, Pete Brook and Blake Andrews. All three are ready and willing to come with their exhibition projects, hold workshops and lectures and spend some time in Belgrade, the only thing they need is for us to provide plane tickets for them from USA to Serbia. In the next few paragraphs you can find out a bit more about them.
He worked as a photographer for the media in places such as Africa, Eastern Europe, Russia and South America, after which he dedicated himself to the topic of World Power: ways in which the Power manifests itself on an individual. He recieved an award for his photo series Interrogation on a prestigious competition ‘World Press Photo’. The series was subsequently published as a book. He is also appreciated as a lecturer, and his grant-writing workshops are helpful to numerous artists in gaining resources for their projects. Concerning our season, he agreed to hold a workshop pro bono and to bring and present his photo series Interrogation if we arrange a plane ticket for him.
In the year 2011, TIME.com named the “Prison Photography” blog one of the 20 best photo blogs. Pete Brook, its author, is not a photographer, but a researcher, theoretician and a critic of the prison system, for which he says that it “stockpiles people”. Through his texts and comments, conversations with photographers who are working on the topic of prison; presenting his portfolio and other activities, he points out problems and calls for their resolution. Photography is used as means of questioning the system, power, politics…Within our season, Pete will have a role of the curator of an exhibition by photographers dealing with the topic of teenagers in prison. A plane ticket would enable Pete to give lectures and to, together with the local activists, raise the topic of juvenile prisons in our region.
One of the most influential photo-bloggers, commonly known as B. – with an unmistakable sense for the state of affairs in photography, humorous, versatile and thorough. If we were to dare, we would, at least in a modern context, compare him to V. Benjamin. He is an excellent photographer focused on street photography, which he practices methodically, but with much spirit, the shooter of a kind that sticks to his Leica, black-and-white film and the darkroom. He will introduce himself during the Belgrade exhibition with black-and-white prints that he makes himself. He will also give a lecture and hold a workshop on street photography.
Besides hosting Donald, Pete and Blake, we want to round off this season, and all the events included, with a book – Raw Season. We want the book to be in printed form and our opinion is that in this day and age it is important to create books as art pieces, especially when it comes to photography. We will be needing money for printing of the book, and as for the rest of the process, we have managed to find professionals who are willing to donate their work for us.
We need 3000 € in total, 2300 for plane tickets and 700 for the book. If we don’t manage to gather the whole amount, our priority will be to bring at least one of the authors. If it comes to this, the participants of the fund-gathering action will take part in making the decision which of the authors to host.
This fundraising system for realization of art and other projects already exists worldwide, most famous example being the Kickstarter. This is one of the first attempts of this kind of project in our country. By investing in this project, other than helping it achieve its goal, you are also sending a message that it is possible to finance art projects this way, and helping us introduce an alternative fundraising model for art production in Serbia – a model that depends only on people, as potential spectators, and not on institutions. It is a chance for developing the art scene and also a chance to participate in its forming.
Other than that, anyone who decides to participate by donating will be given a reward, as a token of our appreciation. On the right-hand side is a list of all the awards we can offer at the moment, and make sure you don’t sleep on special offers that will be announced soon. Mind you, some of them are limited in quantity! Early bird…
Although the gallery is an official institution, founded by the city of Belgrade, investing in culture is not a national priority, so the city and the state finance only enough to prevent key institutions from closing (although not so successfully, hence the examples of the national Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art). The fact is that here and there certain funds can be found, but we are not alone in feeling that those projects are of pamphlet-political type and usually just symbolic contributions to projects which the ministry considers useful for their own public promotions. Also it is a fact that our budget for this whole season, in reality, is 0 (zero). We have tried to reach out to other institutions, that may find this program of interest, as well as companies, but had no affirmative responses. If there is a firm willing to sponsor a part of this program feel free to contact us.
Thank you for your support. Current options are: making a payment in a local post office or a bank in Serbia on our association’s account, via PayPal or meeting in person (if you find yourself most comfortable with this option, send as an e-mail and we shall arrange the transfer). After completing your payment, send us an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating which type of payment you chose (account, PayPal, in person), and your chosen reward. The only thing left for you is to wait for your personal rewards, and also be awarded by knowing you participated in successful realization of this project.
Please add 5€ for international shipping for awards which include postcards and/or prints and 10€ for rewards which include books.
Belgrade Raw is a registered non-profit. Our ID in Serbia: 20833184, PIB: 106926894
Even if you are not able to support this project financially, or the project itself is not of particular interest to you, you are more than welcome to spread the word about this idea on social networks, on internet as well as your personal networks. We believe that, no matter the what the outcome is, this fundraising model is important for the future. As much as it is important for the audience, who by participating gets a chance to get involved directly in projects of interest, it is that much important for the creators, who then don’t have to depend only on local political and commercial entities.