Thank you for visiting my first crowdfunded project. My name is Colin Boyd Shafer and I am a Canadian high school teacher/photographer with a passion for portrait photography. While I have photographed people from East Timor to Bolivia, I want to do a project that gives back to where I was born. Toronto is a city of almost 3 million people, where more than half of its inhabitants were born outside of Canada. According to the United Nations it is the most Cosmopolitan city in the world (if not one of the most) – hence the title of this upcoming portrait project “Cosmopolis Toronto”.
I want to compliment these demographics with human faces and stories. For this project I plan on photographing one person born in every single country - from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe - who now calls Toronto home. I will photograph around 200 people for the project. I aim at having each portrait taken in a place where the subject feels a sense of 'home' in Toronto - maybe a place of work, a favorite spot in the city, or a favorite recreational location. Adding to this initial portrait I will also photograph one object that is important to each person's country/nation of birth, with them holding or touching whatever it is. These two photographs will be paired with a story of how they came to be 'home' in Toronto. It is important to note that I will be including those from the GTA (Greater Toronto Area).
The project has been featured in:
Toronto's Metro Newspaper *here is a collage they did of some portraits I have taken
Cosmopolis Toronto will be a full time job for 4 months requiring me to photograph 3 people per day 5 days per week. I plan on doing this project from October 2013 to January 2014. The money from this Indiegogo will go 100 % to this project, and this can only happen with your support.
With the help of the awesome people at Marcellini we will be creating a website consisting of an interactive map that links to the portraits, which will be updated as the project goes along (so you can follow me). This site will remain as an educational tool, for high school students involved with Geography, or more generally Social Sciences. As well to complete this project I will need expenses to survive (basic food and gas when out meeting participants).
When the project is complete I will be making a photobook with all of the portraits and stories. Also, I will make collage-like posters with all of the portraits. Finally I will be renting a gallery space to display the project in Toronto, and including a relevant charity in the event. Once again, all money raised will go directly to this project. Obviously for the book/posters and gallery, I will be seeking out organizations, publishers, and galleries to help sponsor and get involved. If we manage to raise more than the goal, the additional monies will go towards subsidizing the publication/printing of the book (especially to making copies for certain youth organizations in the greater Toronto area), and renting / displaying the photographs in a more central gallery space. In other words, let’s raise as much as possible. Aside from helping out financially if you can, please share this project with your friends.
If you are from Toronto but you were born somewhere else please fill out the form below and be sure to contact me ASAP! Also, if you have friends from Toronto who were born somewhere else, tell them to contact me ASAP, as a big part of this project will be finding participants.