There is so much beauty in Marco Trovato’s print of children playing football in Angola: the vivid red of the children’s clothing against the dusty brown background, the sense of movement, the look of determination on the boy’s face as he kicks the football. But perhaps what is most beautiful to me is the fact that the photograph is of children doing what they do best - being children. Too often, children in Angola, and in most of Sub-Saharan Africa, don’t get the chance to experience as many moments like this as they should. Right now, a child dies in Africa every 45 seconds from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease. Moreover, when malaria doesn’t kill, it can have significant effects on a child’s health and development, keeping them out of school and, in some cases, causing permanent neurological damage.
At Malaria No More, we are working hard to end malaria deaths in Africa by 2015 through strategic investments on the ground, such as the delivery of mosquito nets and rapid diagnostic tests; innovative communications campaigns to increase net usage and awareness; and advocacy efforts to mobilize additional resources for the fight against malaria. Many of our programs, such as the Zinduka Campaign in Tanzania, mobilize youth to take action against malaria, allowing them the chance to play, to grow, and to reach their full potential.
Who knows, some of them may even grow up to become football stars.
At Nuru Project, we connect photojournalism with causes. Consider benefiting Malaria No More with your Marco Trovato print purchase by selecting them at checkout.
Michele Malter is Grants Manager at Malaria No More, where she is responsible for proposals and reports and identifying new funding opportunities. She spends her spare time traveling, speaking Hindi and watching the History Channel, but not all at the same time.
So, when I order a print, what’s in the envelope anyway? Well, first of all, your print. We got this from Taylor after he opened his 8x10 Espen Rasmussen print.
What’s that card with the handwriting on it and why are that dude’s hands so hairy? Unfortunately, we can’t do anything about Matt’s body hair. But every print comes with a printed version of the photographer’s handwritten Backstory. Backstories explore the photographer’s experience of creating the image. Why were they there? What do they know about the people in the photograph? What happened just before and after this particular frame?
What’s with all the stamping? We do love our Nuru Project stamp! We stamp your envelope so that you’ll know your Nuru Project print has arrived when it shows up in the mail. And we stamp the back of your print to remind you that your print purchase supported a good cause.
How do I know my Nuru Project print is the real deal? Easy! We include an archival foil-backed Label of Authenticity with all the relevant info, including the photographer, a brief image description, the date, the medium, the size and print #, your name, the cause you benefited, and a printed version of the artist’s signature. We recommend that you let your framer apply this to the back of your print.
You said that the prints are numbered? Does that mean they’re part of limited editions? Limited editioning is about creating scarcity. We believe the true spirit of photojournalism is to tell a story far and wide to an audience passionate about social change. As such, Nuru Project does not limit the quantity of prints we sell for a given image. Just the opposite: we celebrate volume. The more copies a print sells, the more impact it has on a cause and the more it supports the photographer’s work. And we pair volume with moderate prices, allowing us to reach a wide audience and raise more money for causes. Volume = Impact. We do, however, number prints. This is called an Open Edition.
Here’s a screenshot from my computer of what you can expect to find on your Label of Authenticity, including your Open Edition Print #:
So where can I get a Nuru Project print? Glad you asked! You can purchase prints to benefit Acumen Fund, Architecture for Humanity, Malaria No More, Partners In Health, and Pencils of Promise right here.
We first came across Marco’s print while curating images about soccer (yes, I’m American) for our World At Play event during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. As he writes in his handwritten backstory, the image eventually made its way onto the cover of the May 2010 Sports Illustrated as part of their build-up to the World Cup.
While I was excited to show an image that had graced a magazine cover, I was moved by the motivation behind Marco’s work. In his backstory, he writes, “For over twenty years, I’ve been telling stories from the continent about subjects other than war, misery, or disease.”
Marco’s sentiment resonates deeply with me. I got my start in photojournalism on a Fulbright Fellowship photographing young people living in Nairobi’s Mathare Valley slums. My big takeaway from the year-long experience was that while Mathare residents lacked such basics as running water, electricity, and security, many of the people I photographed were nonetheless proud and conducted their lives with a sense of purpose. That sense of humanity is often missing from the media’s coverage of places like Mathare. Telling stories about “war, misery, and disease” is an important part of photojournalism’s role. And yet those can’t be the only stories we photojournalists tell. It’s important to remember that while life in Mathare is incredibly difficult, that does not make it worthless. As hip-hop artist Talib Kweli puts it in I Try (listen at 3:00), “Life is a beautiful struggle…”
Our mission at Nuru Project is to connect photojournalism with causes. So we’re suggesting that buyers of Marco Trovato’s print select Malaria No More as the benefit organization at checkout. Malaria No More works to eradicate malaria across Africa and has distributed mosquito nets in Luanda, where Marco took this image.