Support and experience the work of freelance journalists covering conflicts worldwide.
THE EXHIBITION EXPERIENCEThe War Zone Freelance Exhibition gives an exclusive look into the work and world of freelance journalists covering wars and conflicts in the Middle East.
Your donation to the War Zone Freelance Exhibition supports the exposure of freelance journalists dedicated to covering conflicts worldwide and contributes to educating the global public on where much of today's news comes from and the stories behind the freelancers in the field risking their lives reporting it.
The project is motivated by the desire to pay tribute and provoke debate on the important and consequential role freelance journalists play in bringing news out of conflict areas to the international public, often with little support, on their own expense and at extremely high risk.
The War Zone Freelance Exhibition 2016 is scheduled to begin in London atthe Frontline Club on January 28th and from this legendary venue, the team has planned a six month tour to gallery locations in major European cities including Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, and Barcelona.
The War Zone Freelance Exhibition was founded in July 2015 and has since been published in various media and received great feedback from the Committee to Protect Journalists, Frontline Freelance Register, and other major journalist organizations from around the world. All of them are on board to share the WZF message and give informational and network support, however none have committed financially.
Since the beginning, the War Zone Freelance Team has been self-financing their project and cannot continue without outside support.
CREATORSThe War Zone Freelance Exhibition is made up by a team of international freelance journalists. American photojournalist Osie Greenway, Danish writer/ reporter Anne Alling, German writer/ photographer Benjamin Hiller,and Dutch videographer/ photographer Jeffry Ruigendijk have all spent considerable amounts of time in the last several years covering conflicts and humanitarian issues in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, among others. With both published and unseen material from war zones throughout the Middle East they propose a multi-faceted exhibition that will pull its audience deep into the reporting process and educate on both people affected by war in the region and the struggles and triumphs of working independently as a freelancer in a high-stakes vocation.
INSIDE THE EXHIBITION
When one enters the WZF exhibition, the visitor will immediately be overtaken by the ambiance created by the multi platform gallery presentation. The photography and videography gallery is where the audience can take the journey alongside the journalists by viewing images from remote battlefields throughout the Middle East while looking over personal items in display-cases used by the freelancers in the field that made reporting these stories possible. Items that each journalist find significant in their reporting along with other pieces of their stories that were obtained while reporting, including battle flags, uniforms, and other conflict-related artifacts. The viewers' mood is heightened by audio of war zone radio reporting that will play throughout the photo and video gallery.
Connecting the photography and videography gallery to the interactive memorial will be a section dedicated to local freelancers who risk all in helping international media workers produce stories for global media outlets. With the use of their own media work and filmed interviews these talented individuals will share their personal stories of reporting on frontlines in their own countries and the life threatening hassles of freelancing as a local journalist.
The final section of the exhibition will be a place to embrace the information obtained throughout the exhibit and witness the heavy costs of freelancing in war zones, by viewing WZF's memorial wall dedicated to freelance journalists killed or missing while covering conflicts in the Middle East during the last several years. The memorial will specifically highlight the local freelance photojournalist Molhem Barakat who was killed in Syria while covering battles in Aleppo. The memorial will be interactive with a message book for visitors that will be sent to the family of the fallen journalist, along with items for sale that raise awareness to the costs of reporting inside war zones.
FREELANCERS IN DANGERDuring the past several years, threats towards journalists, especially those working in conflict areas in the Middle East, has increased drastically. Sixty-one journalists have been killed for reasons related to their work or have died while on assignment so far in 2015.
This year is expected to be the deadliest year ever for journalists. Freelancers with limited means, little backing from media companies, and often working alone in the field are further exposed to danger and account to the high number of deaths.
Syrian freelance photographer in his late teens Molhem Barakat was killed on December 20th 2013 while covering a battle at al-Kindi Hospital in Aleppo, Syria. Since May that year, he had been freelancing for Reuters who distributed dozens of his pictures around the world, some of them appearing in prestigious publications such as The New Yorker and The New York Times.
Selected photos from Molhem's portfolio will be displayed in the WZF interactive memorial along with the cameras he carried the day he was killed.
“Journalism was his whole life, it was his message to present real and honest photos. I ask you that you display his cameras in the exhibition so that the whole world can see it. My son’s blood is on those cameras”, Molhem’s mother writes to WZF about her son’s story being told at the War Zone Freelance Exhibition.
EDUCATIONAL PERSPECTIVEMany exhibitions fail to tell the story behind the story of what it is like for journalists working in dangerous places. The WZF Exhibition will serve as a tool to educate on the profession of freelance journalism. The mobile exhibit is an ideal place for journalism students and media majors to learn about the freelance profession, a field that is often left out of college and university journalism curriculum.
In each city we exhibit in, our goal is to highlight a local freelance journalist that has covered conflicts in the Mideast by sharing his/ her work and their experiences. The WZF journalists themselves will give lectures and hold Q&As to talk about their experiences and the impact of current conflicts in the Middle East.
In addition to highlighting local international journalist the freelancers and fixers from Iraq, Syria, and the Kurdistan region, who's work is displayed in the exhibition will come to elaborate in an open discussion forum on the challenges of covering war and conflicts as a freelance journalist in their home country.
Speakers from international journalism organizations will attend for lectures to give statistical information and share their insight on the current state of freelance journalism.
After touring the Middle East exhibition for a six month period to major cities in Europe the WZF team hopes to purpose a second six month tour through North America starting in New York City and ending in Toronto where the exhibition media will be sold to raise money for CJFE's Journalists in Distress Fund.
Afterwards, the vision of the WZF team is to expand beyond the Middle East in order to cover more of the many conflicts happening today around the world, including Africa, East Asia and Eastern Europe.
The idea is to support and empower deep and authentic reporting by exhibiting local and international freelancers covering those areas. Through our exhibitions and online media strategies, we create a platform for both established freelancers and lesser-known talents to display their work and experiences to the public through the exhibition, our social media, and photo & video competitions.
HOW WE USE YOUR CONTRIBUTIONTo cover the expenses of setting up the War Zone Freelance Exhibition and accomplish our 2016 six-month Europe exhibition tour we need your help!
The expenses include:
Printing & Publication of exhibition images, posters, brochures, and exhibition catalogs.
Exhibition supplies including projectors, display-cases, PA-system, and material for the interactive memorial.
Advertisement including press packages and urban & social media advertisement.
Travel & Accommodation for the WZF Team, local journalists & fixers, and attending speakers.
Transportation of exhibit supplies throughout the Europe tour.
SPREAD THE WORD
Another way to support the War Zone Freelance Exhibition is by spreading the word about our crowd funding campaign and get other people on board to support our project.