Monday 28 November 2011

Renowned Photojournalist Looks to Crowdfunding for Continued Investigations of Big Tobacco

If you are smoker have you ever considered the amount of work and resources involved in producing the humble cigarette? This was the question that Italian photojournalist Rocco Rorandelli asked himself prompting a long term investigation into the tobacco industry. To continue with the project, Rorandelli has turned away from traditional sources, and has embraced crowdfunding, via emphas.isa platform specifically geared to help with funding visual journalism initiatives.

After having lost his father to cancer which was brought on by smoking, Rorandelli (a smoker himself at the time) began to wonder just how much work went into producing cigarettes. In 2008, Rorandelli began his investigation and travelled to Asia where he learned that China and India are the biggest producers and consumers of tobacco. Rorandelli also visited Indonesia which has no restrictive regulations over tobacco advertising. Sporting and music events enjoy sponsorship by tobacco companies targeting young consumers.

Rorandelli's work has attracted international acclaim and featured on many notable publications such as Newsweek, L'Espresso, New York Times, and National Geographic magazine. He was also awarded a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism to document the use of child labour in tobacco production. 

In continuing his work, Rorandelli plans on travelling to various countries next year including the US. America's association with tobacco is particularly prevalent as it is linked culturally to the image of the Marlboro Man, and 2012 will mark 400 years since the first American tobacco plantation was established. Rorandelli needs $8,786 to fund his investigation including, manufacturing, sales & marketing, and consumption. Once complete, the findings will be compiled into a book, travelling exhibition, and even an ipad application.

So far $2,517 has been raised and in return for a donation, investors  will be granted an assortment of awards from personal thank you's to a personalised editions of the book, even inclusion of the company logo for large corporate donations. You can view the latest chapters on the project's Picturetank page, and if you believe this a project worthy of support then visit Rorandelli's funding page.

Image Credit; Dany13

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