It’s incredible to see how something like The Human, Earth Project brings people together. This project was born from two unrelated concepts, to use a collection of portraits to try and help a friend in trouble. It has since been expanding in all directions, as people from all over the world have come forward to contribute their own skills, knowledge and ideas.
There’s the girl who has passed on valuable information from her own investigations into M’s disappearance, and another who’s writing a thesis on human trafficking and has led me to some great resources. There’s a representative of an NGO which has already recovered hundreds of victims from China, who has been patiently answering all my questions. There are those who have volunteered to come to Vietnam and China to help in the search for M; one speaks Mandarin, and another speaks M’s own language.
There are some who have volunteered to translate documents for me, and some who have offered to join me for other legs of the journey, and will be able to help interpret the local languages. There are some who have put forward their own ideas of how to raise funds or publicity for the project.
Others have expressed an interest in seeing the project take form in various media. One idea that’s been put forward several times is to publish the results of the project as a coffee-table book. With the stories and images – those I have already, and those that are yet to come – there will certainly be enough material for a book, and if there’s enough interest, I’ll take some time to put one together after the project is completed.
An idea that interests me more, however, is that of filming the entire journey for the purposes of making a documentary. This is an idea that has been raised by numerous people from the very beginning of the project and, as my background is in shooting and editing documentaries, it’s an idea that interests me very much. It will be an amazing story, and a wonderful way to bring you all along on the journey so you can see and hear Asia for yourselves. I’m currently discussing the logistics with a number of filmmakers and photographers I know, and will do what I can to make it a reality.
Watching this project take shape and grow has already been a fascinating journey, and has become a full-time job on top of the one I have already: I can’t wait to see where it leads from here!
A lot of people have come forward already and contributed financially to the project. If you haven’t, and you’d like to help make it a reality, take a look at the crowdfunding website. Everyone who puts something in gets something back, including signed prints of my portraits, so all you have to do is choose your favourite, and choose a spot on your wall!