1 river. 2 borders. 3 countries
Guinea-Senegal-The Gambia, West Africa
Paddles in the water by early October 2012
Some of you know that Helen and I are heading to West Africa in October, on an expedition to document the people and culture along the length of one of Africa’s last free flowing major rivers – The River Gambia. We will be traveling by canoe and foot over 1000km (2-3 months) from the river’s source in the highlands of Guinea, through Senegal and finally to where it meets the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of The Republic of The Gambia.
Plans are afoot to dam the river. Although this will bring electricity to the region, it will also create massive changes in the lives of displaced communities, and to the diverse eco-systems that the river supports, including the Niokolo Koba national park- a World Heritage site already suffering from under-funding and poachers. The region is also experiencing ‘urban drift’ – young people leaving village life for economic possibilities in larger towns, as well as the USA and Europe, resulting in the loss of traditional culture and practices.
We aim to create visual and written documents to be used as educational tools (traveling exhibition, talks, web, print media) to bring better awareness, appreciation and understanding of the diverse cultures, societies and traditions of the communities who live and work along the meandering course of the river. By using canoes and hiking we also hope to encourage lo-impact travel in the promotion of cultural exchange.
We have some great sponsors and partners onboard already for the expedition, but with so many major photographic based endeavors these days, it’s very difficult to get the media to commit to assigning such longer term stories, and secure timely grant funding.
We have partnered again with The Gambia Experience andDPx Gear, and have new collaborators, including YellowBrick, Overboard, SteriPen, Peli Cases, GoPro Cameras, OpenCast, Tamarack Outdoors, and Bergen Ally canoes, Teva and GoalZero.
BUT – here is where we would love to get you involved. We need hard cash to cover an additional $9000 USD for on-the-ground expenses including salaries and gear for our West African team members, guides, porters, security/park rangers, accommodation, food, insurance, medical emergencies, support transport, satellite communications….. as of today we have raised 25% of our goal !!
We are not looking for handouts, but as we did with our 2009 expedition, we will be giving limited edition fine art prints from photographs I take on the expedition in exchange for your financial support.
Thanks to YellowBrick you will be able to follow us on an online map that will ping our location daily, as well as allow us to update our blog / Facebook. You will even be able to send us text messages to see how your Dollars/Euros/Pounds are being used to support the expedition along the way.
To see press that the River Gambia Expedition 2012 has garnered so far, please visit the blog via this link ‘Meet the Press’
OK – Now here is the easy bit. Please take a moment and click ‘HERE’ to see how to become a supporter of the expedition and decide which size print will fit perfectly on your wall in exchange for your support.
We need to get all the funding in place by October 1st 2012
As an added incentive for all of you who donate over $100 by August 31st you will not only receive the limited edition expedition print, but we’ll also put your name in the hat for our August 31st ‘Print Draw’ – for a limited edition fine art 16 x20 inch print ($1500 gallery price).
But for just $25 you can have a chance to participate in our August ‘Print Draw’ too ! Click ‘HERE’ to see the images and how to get your name in the hat.
Please drop us a line with any questions about the prints, gear sponsorship, and media or about any other way you would like to get involved.
Many thanks for taking the time to explore what we are doing – we hope you will become part of our expedition support team …
…even if it is from your armchair!
Jason and Helen
firstname.lastname@example.org for Product Sponsorship