I received a message from Tom Fehrer, a Boston photographer, who I know and trust. I feel it is important enough to pass along to you and urge you to join me in supporting this valuable project. Here is a message from Tom:
“For some of you, this is a story you’ve heard before. For others, this is new.
Robert Adler, a writer friend, and I, have been working on the I Have a Name project since October of 2012. We have been interviewing and photographing migrantes, migrant workers from Central America and Mexico who are on their way up to the U.S.. Some will make it, many won’t. They are fleeing a life of no available work, no money and no hope, with corruption, gangs and paramilitaries thrown into the mix for good measure . On their way up here they will be robbed, raped, beaten, kidnapped and even murdered…if they don’t fall off the train or die of thirst in the desert. And many will be caught and deported even if they do make it across.
We plan on having a traveling exhibit of their stories and photographs, with 24 to 30 images on aluminum, near life-size that will be hung from the ceiling, so that you are looking at them face to face. There will be a quote from the individual at the top of the photo, and a small book of their histories. It will cost $25,000 to successfully carry this out. We already have our first venue, in Boston, in December of 2014.
Last spring we had a campaign on Kickstarter, but were novices at fundraising and didn’t make our goal, which meant that all the pledges were returned to the contributors. We know a little more now, are better prepared, and with an Indiegogo campaign we get to keep whatever you give.
Our indiegogo.com campaign starts Monday, October 7,
and will last for just 49 days. I only ask for two things:
On October 7 — Watch the video, read the text, and decide what you want to do.
But do it now. Don’t wait.
But just as important, even if you don’t choose to or already have contributed, PLEASE contact any one you know, anyone in your social media group, religious group, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and let them know about our project. If you do that, we will make our goal.
We think what we’re doing can make a difference. Please help us succeed.”
All the best,
Tom Feher — www.tomfeherphotography.com
P.S. from Norma: I have just returned from Morocco where I met many educated and talented young men in their 20’s and 30’s who want to migrate to the U.S. but can’t. Why? Because they will never get a visa coming from an Islamic country because our nation believes they are terrorists.
The North Africans who just died in the ship fire trying to reach Italy in search of a better life is another example of how prohibitive and costly the immigration policies of the West can be. At least once a week, I receive emails and blog comments from U.S. citizens who want to get visas for children, parents and grandparents to enter the U.S. from Mexico. I am ill-prepared to advise them, since my experience trying to help Oaxaca friends has been unsuccessful of late.
The tragedy is that we separate families, create sweeping policies that are inhumane, and are unable to assess the worthiness of each case. Soon, however, much of the U.S. will be Spanish-speaking and we shall see what happens next 🙂