No budget = no photos — Why did I refuse to go to Dorćol Platz?

As some of you may have noticed, an event dedicated to the volunteers committed in the refugees crisis took place on the 24th of June in Dorćol Platz. I had told some of you that my pictures were to be exhibited there, but it did not happen, followinf a comintment issue from Dorćol Platz. Here are the details, and here is why I refused to participate due to a pretty important rule: no budget=no photos

The original idea

A few weeks ago, I have been contacted to participate in the event, which was supposed to put the work of the Refugees Crisis’ volunteers on the spotlights. Being one of my subject of interest, and having a large base of volunteers pictures, I decided pretty quickly to participate.

Berkasovo (Serbian-Croatian border), October 2015 — Photo: Jerome Cid

How did the project go?

I got therefore contacted by Dorćol Platz PR to settle the whole thing. And here is pretty much the evolution of their speech:

1st step: “we are interested, but we have a reduced budget, so please be considerate if we need to print pictures”

2nd step: “the pictures you suggest are great, but due to budget, it could be great just to print a few of them, and project the other ones with a video projector”

3rd step: “once ready, the pictures are even greater. But we have no budget, so no pictures will be printed.”

At that point, I decided to refuse and to cancel.

Why did I refuse?

Following my previous exhibition about the refugees crisis, “there are only men”, I have received several proposals of kind hearted organisations that were offering to exhibit my work. Every time, however, they were out of business to print the pictures, “due to a tight budget”. Every time, therefore, I had refused.

My first exhibition was self funded. Regarding the refugees issue, I find this normal, given we are dealing with a serious humanitarian issue, and given this project was my own initiative

However, if one of these kind hearted organisations wants to do something about the refugees crisis, I am expecting them to make some efforts as well, and not just asking me the pictures for their own communication without commitment.

In the case of Dorćol Platz, it started on a good basis, given they were willing to do some printings. However, seeing their progressive regression, I finally decided to cancel.

Seen on the day before the event: quality paper, all around the center of the city. No budget you were saying?

The final thing that made me taking this decision was to see their illegal hoarding through the city. Apparently, Dorćol Platz is able to print on high quality paper some posters that will later pollute the city, but not to print pictures for their own event.

Please do show some decency and commitment

Let the things be clear: I am not looking for money nor recognition with that kind of events. However, I am expecting respect, for me, the other photographers, and above all the refugees.

Never forget what there is behind this pictures. For the photographer, it means days of work, on harsh conditions, both morally and physically. For the subject of the pictures, the refugees, it means way more, it means trusting someone to appear on a picture while you are in one of the worst situation anyone could ever imagine.

So, you want to do something about the refugees crisis, but you are not able to acknowledge all of this granting some budget to print a few pictures?

This is just indecent.

So, please, never forget this basic rule:

no budget = no photos

P.S.: I take care of this opportunity to remind that I am offering a free access to my collection of pictures from the Refugees Crisis to NGO’s committed in the issue for their needs. If you need it, do not hesitate to contact me.