There are only seven days left to pledge your support on Kickstarter for Twenty Journey, which will see three photographers document a four-month trip across South Africa in a campervan.
To raise the necessary funds, photographers Sipho Mpongo, Wikus de Wet, and Sean Metelerkamp turned to Kickstarter, the world’s largest crowdsourcing funding platform for creative projects.
So far, their Twenty Journey campaign has received over $8 000 from 84 supporters from all over the world, from Estonia to Luxembourg to the United States of America. In addition, the project has secured sponsorship from Borscht, Orms Pro Photo Warehouse, and Go Pro.
But Kickstarter only funds projects that reach their targets; otherwise no contributors are charged. In the case of Twenty Journey, this means the photographers won’t see a cent of the money pledged if they don’t raise another $4 000 in the next seven days, to reach their goal of $12 000 by Thursday, 26 June 2014.
“We’re so grateful for all the support we’ve received, whether in pledges, press coverage or just all those people sharing the project on social media,” says Sean, whose work has been featured everywhere from Dazed & Confused to The Guggenheim Museums, and who was responsible for Zef Side, the original Die Antwoord music video.
“According to a study by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 97% of Kickstarter projects that raised more than 50% of their goal were successfully funded, and we’re already over 65%,” says Sipho, a Cape Town School of Photography and Iliso Labantu alumni. “So we’re hopeful that the flood of goodwill we’ve received will convert over the next week into the money we require. But we need everyone’s help: we can’t do this without you.”
“It’s been a rollercoaster and we’ve been losing our marbles a bit,” says Wikus, who was previously a freelance photographer for Photo24, which supplies pictures to Die Burger, Beeld, Rapport and Volksblad. “We really want the campaign to succeed, not just for our project, but to show other African creatives that crowd-funding is a viable alternative funding model. It would be heartbreaking to come so far only to fail and have nothing to show for it.”
Award-winning South African artist Jane Alexander is among the supporters of Twenty Journey. As she says, “This journey could result in an important collection of images and information that will allow those who engage with it to reflect on the particularities of our history and very complex, exceptional, troubled and but also marvelous social life, and gain a better understanding of where and who we are in the interests of being more informed, tolerant and generous…This is a significant year and marker in our history for a project like this. The photographers are skilled, enthusiastic, excited and energetic, and I strongly support their proposal. I hope the project will receive your favorable support.”
To help make the completed documentary possible, visit the project’s Kickstarter page. Pledges start from as little as $10, with rewards varying depending on the amount pledged.