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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Project Nigeria - John Densky and International Bridges to Justice

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from John Densky, a photographer for The Canadian Press and Associated Press and an award winning documentary photographer from Southwestern Ontario.

"In May [John] will be heading overseas to shoot a photo essay on Nigeria's prison system. Currently somewhere around 65% of the prison population has not been tried, officially charged nor had access to legal representation. The last estimates from Amnesty place about 300-400 children currently in jail."

"John has close to 20 years of experience working for groups such as The Canadian Press, Associated Press and Mavrixphoto. John’s client list includes The City of Vancouver, Ville De Montreal, People Magazine, Aids Canada, The Unity Project, Care International and Macleans.

John’s work has been described as “deeply humanistic” and most recently “the best contemporary photography available” by National Geographic regular contributor Dr. Phil Devries."

John enclosed a press kit and some other information with his email which I've included throughout this article (click on the any of the images to see them full size). After reading through everything, I was impressed with John's courage and desire to help. There is obviously a real danger aspect involved in taking on a project like this, but it's people like John who are willing to help in the face of such danger that make the world a better place.

On behalf of Art of the Image, I was happy to help John out by donating a couple of EN-EL3e batteries for his Nikon D700 which he'll be taking on the trip (along with his Nikon D3 and Nikon D2Xs), but there are still a few other areas John could use help with. “While much of John’s security and in country travel and operating expenses will be covered by IBJ, the following costs will need to be donated for a safe and successful trip.”

Updated vaccinations specific to region (including malaria) – $400
Visa application – $85
Press visa application (in country) – $150
Robert Q to Toronto and return – $110
Airfare to Lagos (return) – $2,500
Airfare from Lagos to Abuja (in country press visa) – $750
Equipment and country specific health/life insurance –
Back-up camera system (fully weather sealed) – $3,000
Audio recording system (mic. and hard drive) – $380
Compact flash and SD memory – $200
Spare batteries – $200
Power converter – $60
Surge protector - $40
Secure accommodations – $1500
Visa and document body belts – $60
Mosquito netting – $35
Fixer (In country guide) – $600
Promotional materials –

If you or your business or organization would like to help, John can be contacted via email at, or you can get in touch with me here at Art of the Image and I'll pass it along to John.

IBJ is also "currently looking for a lead sponsorship role who will be guaranteed as much media recognition for their contribution that we can provide. Any publications and events relating to the Nigeria Initiative will be linked to the sponsors who have made it possible for the project to succeed.

Lead sponsors will also be provided with a library of images and 12 framed, signed and numbered prints to commemorate their commitment and contribution to the project. All future exhibits and book projects will be clearly branded with each sponsor’s name with preference given to the lead sponsor."

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