FINAL HOUR CHALLENGE: Less than $1,000 to go in these final hours! If you donate $25 or more in these final hours you will receive a special DVD compilation of a photo slideshow and video interviews with several farmers from the project!
// the COLOR of FOOD // a photographic documentary
The Color of Food tells the stories of our Black, Latino, Asian and Indigenous farmers and the history, fight for survival and beautiful culture that makes up our agriculture.
While revealing the intersection of race and food through the personal stories of farmers of color, this project will also explore the agricultural history and traditional food and farming knowledge passed down within in each community. This photo documentary will also address the movement for food sovereignty and issues with land loss which we see taking place globally today.
These stories and images will be captured with my lens and pen, and published in a photo-essay book, posted via photo/video blog, and exhibited at food justice and food sovereignty events around the country. The documentary will live on and enhance the network within the COLOR of FOOD directory - the global map and directory of farmers of color I founded in 2010.
**This fundraising campaign aims to support the project across North and South America over the next year, further travel and documentation will have to come later with more funding!
**I will be taking a lot of video footage as well
in hopes to turn this into a film documentary, I am currently in
discussion with a production company about having a filmmaker follow me,
but this requires more money so we have been grant writing for that too!
// the 10:10 challenge
The funding goal of this project is $10,000. Yes, that's a hefty goal in 60 days. But with community participation, I know it can be done. You know the optimistic theory >> If I get 1,000 people to donate $10, the goal is reached. It's ambitious, yes, but many people these days have about 1,000 friends just on Facebook! So it's not impossible. Tens of thousands of people are right at our fingertips but it takes the whole community to make it happen.
So, I am proposing a challenge. YOU donate at least $10. Then YOU forward this link to 10 PEOPLE and get them to donate $10 too. Thus, the 10:10 Challenge. (larger contributions are more than welcome and are rewarded with a sliding scale of "grateful love" gifts listed on the right. Donations are also available for tax deductions through my fiscal sponsor Cultural Media Services if interested. Smaller donations help too, this project is accessible to all!)
I can keep track of how many people you are referring back to this page (if you are using the share tools provided here) thanks to the genius of Indie GoGo, and out of those people I can see how many of them donate! So, I am offering the "grateful good" gift to you for getting all 10 friends to contribute $10. But you don't have to stop at 10 friends. For whoever gets the most people to donate $10 or whoever raises the most money through your referrals, I am offering you the "thank you deep" gift.
Ready. Set. Go. >> Spread this message. Empower these voices. Give with love.
// natasha bowens // writer / farmer / activist
My name is Natasha and I am a writer, food justice activist and farmer...a young, brown, female farmer. I put emphasis on those things because of all I've learned throughout my journey of growing food.
A desire to
feed my community sustainably and give back to the land led me on an
eye-opening journey full of history, culture and self-discovery. I not only
learned how to grow food, but I was reminded of those that came before me - and shared the same skin color as me. Those who dug the very first furrows of our fields and who poured sweat, blood and tears into the foundations that make up our agricultural system today. These communities are now, shamefully, on the
brink of extinction. Farmers of color hold the dual titles of making up the
majority of farmers worldwide, with the shittiest end of the stick in
the global agribusiness industry. (this is especially true for women)
I saw these faces and voices missing from the movement to change our food system which has recently been picking up steam in the aisles of Whole Foods and with films like Food, Inc.
So I set out on a mission to find fellow brown farmers and hear their voices for myself. I began documenting my farming journey on my blog Brown.Girl.Farming. and subsequently wrote a series entitled The Color of Food for Grist.org. The response from this community was overwhelming and The Color of Food documentary project became the inevitable next step.
// breaking down the gritty details
*If this is going to be a community fundraising effort, I want my budget to be transparent!
The actual budget for this project is $19, 160. But I am only asking this community for a portion of that and plan to seek matching donations from foundations and large donors to meet the full budget goal. (If you are interested in matching donations, let me know!)
Below is the breakdown of the project budget:
$5,000 - Vehicle for Traveling to Farms : I have priced a $3,000 1987 Mercedes Station Wagon 300 Turbo Diesel that my good friend and GreaseMonkey mechanic will convert to run on veggie oil for $1,000. The rest of the costs will cover registration, insurance, and some maintenance and diesel gas costs for the unknowns!
$5,000 -Travel Tickets : For the travel that is unreachable by car - flights, trains and buses.
$600 - Camera Upgrade : I use a Canon AE -1 (old film SLR camera) and want to have both film and digital for this project, for easy posting and video options. I have priced a Canon Rebel XTi camera body for $450 and will need to buy lens mount adapters to use my older Canon lenses on the new DSLR body.
$200 - Voice Recorder : I need a voice recorder for interviews, the sound recording on the DSLR cameras is not quite quality enough to pick up the voices and cancel out background noise.
$60 - Journals, Pens & Documenting Supplies : In addition to my laptop I will need plenty of supplies for documenting interviews and compiling all notes.
$1,000 - Translator Fees : This is one of the most expensive costs, but it will make it possible to reach as many farmers from different cultures as possible. I can communicate in Spanish for the most part, but will need translators for other languages. I have many contacts that have already secured networks of translators and movement activists willing to help for free or minimal costs, but I don't want to miss out on hearing a voice because I didn't budget this in.
$1,000 - Visa & Border Fees/Mandatory Immunization Costs : Self-explanatory for some of the travel I will be doing.
$ 800 - Food: I will mainly be relying on my own money and the kindness of the farmers and their families to fill my belly (I have farm hopped many times and found the gracious generosity to be overwhelming). But I wanted to budget this in for those concerned souls out there that may be fretting over my health and well-being during this project!
$500 - Lodging: This number is small because I am a proud couchsurfer, have slept in many a farm spare room and have friends, family and contacts lined up across continents that I plan on seeking lodging from. I also have scouted the vehicle I have because it is set-up for sleeping in! This money is for when those options aren't available.
$5,000 - Website Hosting, Post-Production/Editing, Publishing & Distribution/Outreach : At the end of the journey, the bulk of the work will be patiently waiting for me to bring the project into fruition. Most post-production costs are very expensive, but I am blessed to have talented friends, family and a few of my own skills in web, production and marketing. Therefore, this section of the budget is fairly moderate.
*If I am unable to reach this full budget goal with matching donations from foundations, or even if I am unable to reach this IndieGOGO campaign goal of $10,000, the project will still go on - but on a more barebones budget. I have budgeted for some unknowns and just-in-cases but I am willing to throw caution to the wind and hit the ground running with no safety nets if I have to. I'm an Aries, I always find a way ;)
// tax deductions & social media
Also, social media tools are the key to the 10:10 challenge and helping to reach this goal. Indie GoGo makes all the tools for sharing this link readily available - so Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Email/Newsletter, & Blog your hearts out!
That's all folks. This project means more to me than anything I've ever done. I thank each and every one of you from the very deep of my heart. I am eternally grateful for this opportunity.