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Kintsugi: Forged in Fire

$3,100 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 32 people in 8 months
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Kintsugi: Forged in Fire documents the stories of five families who lost their homes in the historic Northern California wildfires of 2017. Our goal is to preserve this unique piece of history in a way that encourages others who may find themselves in similar circumstances. Through our feature documentary and action campaign, our hope is to support the relief and rebuilding efforts in our community and beyond.

On Sunday, October 8, 2017, during severe red-flag warning conditions, a series of wildfires broke out across Sonoma and Napa counties, ultimately burning over 160,000 acres, claiming 31 lives, and destroying over 7,800 structures before being fully extinguished on October 31st.

It was a devastating blow to our community.

As the dust settled, and the acute needs were less pronounced, I began doing the only thing I felt like I had to offer: photographing friends, and friends of friends in the fire zone where their homes used to be with the hope that it would give them a place to start the rebuilding process.

And so I went and met each family, photographing them on black and white film only, with the intention of coming back a year later to photograph them all again, this time in color, as a tribute to how far they’ve come. At the time, my intention for the work was to keep it entirely private, but after seeing the body of work and being encouraged to share these stories, I knew they had to be told.

When I look at these portraits and talk to these families, I am reminded of Kintsugi, a Japanese art form where broken ceramics are mended by gold. The belief is that the object is more beautiful for having been broken. Stronger too. And that the cracks are a tribute to it’s history. 

This project is my way of attempting to put gold in the cracks of our community and to honor these families and their unwavering resolve to remain unbroken. 

I have been trusted by every person I photographed, to be the keeper of their stories. As that keeper, and as someone who hopes to preserve this unique piece of history in a beautiful way, I am asking you for your help in keeping them alive. So that we can all remember, who we are, why we’re here, and that we are all stronger in our broken places. 

Our goal is to raise $30,000 by the first anniversary of the fire, on October 8th, 2018, which will make it possible to film a digital short during the one year anniversary photoshoots that will then be used to promote and raise additional funds needed to produce a full-length feature documentary and action campaign aimed to help first responders, relief, and rebuilding efforts.

Recovery is a marathon, not a sprint... so thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of our healing. 

View more photos here: https://www.lauraschneiderphoto.com/kintsugi-forged-in-fire/

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Dear Friends,

Thank you SO much for believing in this project. Your support means the world to all of us.

I wanted to send one final thank you out to everyone who shared, donated, and encouraged this work and to let you know what's next.

Our week long funding campaign was incredibly humbling and a much needed opportunity to reflect on what this project means to me and what my hopes are for everyone that's a part of it.

For me, this project has been all about keeping it real and close to home, and pursuing a full feature, big production documentary started to feel like veering a tiny bit off that path. After our funding campaign, I took a step back and revisited an original idea of working to produce a really strong documentary short that would accompany a traveling gallery, and the more I think about this work, the more that feels really right.

So, that is the direction we are headed. Same documentary, slightly different end product.

It feels good to be getting back to the basics and to be working towards what feels like the most authentic way to honor these families and to tell their stories while staying true to the reason I started taking these photos in the first place.

We are moving forward with the one year anniversary photoshoots in October as planned, and the funds we've raised thus far will go towards travel expenses, film + processing fees, audio recording to capture interviews with each family, production expenses, and promotional materials for the next round of funding needed to film and produce the documentary short in early 2019.

It is an honor and privilege to be doing this work, and to every single one of you who are allowing us to take this next step forward, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Sincerely,
Laura
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Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for supporting this project. Your votes of confidence and words of encouragement mean the world. We have only a few days left to get the word out to as many people as possible, so if I may, I'd like to ask for your help in the form of sharing your "why" for supporting this project.

Because this work resonated with you, I have to believe it will resonate with others as well. So let's each share this story with our own corners of the world this weekend, online and beyond, and see how far we can go together.

Thank you again for being on our team.
I am looking forward to seeing what's next for all of us.

With love and gratitude,
Laura
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$3,100 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 32 people in 8 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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$100
Kerry Finnie
8 months ago
LT
$50
Liz Talago
8 months ago
$40
Anonymous
8 months ago
MR
$1,000
Megan Robinson
8 months ago
RS
$25
Ryan Schneider
8 months ago
TK
$50
Tom Korch
8 months ago
BN
$25
Bertram Newmark
8 months ago
PT
$50
Pam Tambe
8 months ago
TS
$100
Teresa Schneider
8 months ago
HT
$100
Heather Trilling
8 months ago
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