Who We Are:
Our names are Jennifer Gonzalez and Steve Matzker. We are recent photojournalism graduates from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. As photographers, it is our desire to tell stories that make an impact. Through the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and your support, we will have that opportunity.
What we are doing:
The Pulitzer Center has graciously awarded us with fellowship grants to document water rights issues in Nepal. Our focus is over the trans boundary Kosi River, on the border of India and Nepal. India is advocating that a high dam be built within the Nepal border. We will document the impact the construction of this dam will have on the Nepalese people. The proposed dam, desired by India for hydroelectricity and flood management, will displace tens of thousands of Nepalese citizens; destroy their villages, cropland, and businesses. What will the Nepalese gain? Both countries share the water, but who owns the rights, those upstream or downstream? The richer country? The one with more political might? The major question, though, is how will this conflict be resolved?
This project is important to us because we have a chance to give a voice to those who would otherwise not have this option. We are excited to visually contribute to the dialogue of water rights issues and this is your chance to help us.
With your support, we can spend two months in the small Nepalese communities around the proposed dam site. The funding we raise will allow us to document the people in an in-depth and intimate way.
What we need and what you get:
We need $4,000.00 for various expenses between now and our trip on August 5th 2013. The funding will go towards passports and visas, immunization shots, travel and equipment insurance, plane tickets, transportation while in Nepal, fees for a translator, and accommodations in Nepal.
In return for your support, and level of donation, you will receive personal post cards from Nepal, a personalized video greeting from Nepal, and customized prints upon our return.
We will still go if we do not reach our funding goal, but our time in the Nepalese communities will be cut drastically short and we will not be allowed to build the intimate relationships we need to tell their stories.
This story is important because it will add to the global discussion of water rights issues. The story of water rights goes back thousands of years. And as the world becomes more populated and more countries vie for this natural resource, whether for its people or for its growing economies, this issue will only grow more heated.
With your support, we can shed light that the impact of on going conflicts over water can have on individuals across the globe. The story of the Nepalese is just a small window from which this issue can be viewed.
Other Ways You Can Help
We are aware that not everyone can contribute monetarily. But there are other ways to help! You can share this video with as many friends as possible and spread the word about our intentions to help tell the story of water rights issues.