I lived in Ethiopia for a month this year. I traveled through the whole country and saw incredible things and met amazing people. Ethiopia has a heart beat, it can be felt throughout the entire country. I don’t know if America has a heart beat or if it does it beats for something other, something fainter and more obscure. Ethiopia’s heart beats for the abandoned, for the hopeless.
While visiting a small rural church in South Ethiopia a young girl (20ish) approached. She didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Amharic. She was carrying a younger girl (4ish) and handed her off to me. Everyone around went silent. When I asked around I found out that the woman just gave me her daughter and asked me to take her to America. I looked around but the mother has disappeared. I looked at the girl in my arms, who did not cry but stared right back at me, questioning me, who I am, what my heart beats for.
I had to leave my daughter behind that day. Watching her from the back window of the truck I realized that my heart beats for her, and her little green dress and wide brown eyes.
I am a street photographer in New York City. Several months ago, I was approached by a representative of DKNY who asked to purchase 300 of my photos to hang in their store windows “around the world.” They offered me $15,000. A friend in the industry told me that $50 per photo was not nearly enough to receive from a company with hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue. So I asked for more money. They said “no.”
Today, a fan sent me a photo from a DKNY store in Bangkok. The window is full of my photos. These photos were used without my knowledge, and without compensation.
I don’t want any money. But please REBLOG this post if you think that DKNY should donate $100,000 on my behalf to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. That donation would sure help a lot of deserving kids go to summer camp. I’ll let you guys know if it happens.
UPDATE: DKNY posted this announcement, via facebook:
Since its founding in 1989, DKNY has been inspired by and incorporated authentic New York into its imagery. For our Spring 2013 store window visuals we decided to celebrate the city that is in our name by showcasing “Only in NYC” images. We have immense respect for Brandon Stanton aka Humans of New York and approached him to work with us on this visual program. He declined to participate in the project.
For the Spring 2013 windows program, we licensed and paid for photos from established photography service providers. However, it appears that inadvertently the store in Bangkok used an internal mock up containing some of Mr. Stanton’s images that was intended to merely show the direction of the spring visual program. We apologize for this error and are working to ensure that only the approved artwork is used.
DKNY has always supported the arts and we deeply regret this mistake. Accordingly, we are making a charitable donation of $25,000 to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn in Mr. Stanton’s name.
$25k will help a lot of kids at the YMCA. I know a lot of you would like to have seen the full $100k, but we are going to take them at their word that it was a mistake, and be happy that this one had a happy ending. Thanks so much for your support, everyone.
Heres a shot I took in 2010 of a cliff in Haifa, Israel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The white building in the background is a little church which looked like it was about to fall into the water because it was so close. It was truly incredible to see such contrast from the green land to the perfect blue sea; something only seen in Israel with the desert and the northern mountains. Its definitely a country worth visiting even though there is so much political turmoil.
This is my first real post! It’s a sunset with a old unused bridge at the Skukuza rest camp in Kruger National Park in South Africa. While I did not take this picture, I was there for 5 weeks in July 2011. I tried to walk up to the bridge when I saw a huge group of monkeys crossing it, but it was surrounded by the electric fence which surrounded Skukuza so I could only go so far.
Here’s my first post, I’m not really sure what I’m doing. But this blog will get better.