Turning World Communications Launches Patron Funded Photojournalism Project for Coverage of Syrian War Stories

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An independent American photojournalist and start-up magazine publisher has begun a worldwide search for patrons to support a year-long project for non-partisan reporting on stories arising from the Syrian War.

Destruction. Displacement. Death. These are part of the price paid almost entirely by Syrians during the nearly two-year-old internal and, increasingly, international struggle for control of the country and its government.

An independent American photojournalist and start-up publisher today began a worldwide search for patrons to support a year-long project for non-partisan reporting on the Syrian War.

Four seasonally timed and titled issues of Turning World Magazine — a print-based forum for photojournalism — will be released to display the mainly visual works produced through the "Syria in Seasons" project, as conceived by photojournalist Brad Workman. Project photographs may be taken inside Syria, outside Syria, or both.

Destruction. Displacement. Death. These are part of the price paid almost entirely by Syrians during the nearly two-year-old internal and, increasingly, international struggle for control of the country and its government.

A statistical analysis done for the United Nations found that 59,648 people were reported killed in the Syrian conflict between mid-March 2011 and late November 2012. A U.N. press release dated Jan. 2 characterized the analysis as exhaustive but preliminary.

"Producing Turning World Magazine is important to me for the same reasons that I hope independent, socially conscious photojournalism seems important to you," Workman said in a Web video introducing the Syria project. "All journalists make subjective decisions. But I certainly have a zeal for speech not produced by or on behalf of any government, political party, or politician. And I believe deeply in the power and importance of the journalistic still image."

The first fundraising deadline for the magazine's "Syria in Seasons: Spring" issue, the project's first, is March 31. The first fundraising goal is $918.75, and the project will end if the goal is not met by the deadline. The final Spring-issue fundraising deadline is June 30, which is also the issue's planned publication date.

Premiums are available for contributing patrons. One Spring-issue premium for one major patron in America is (conditionally) a visit by a grateful photojournalist, Workman. The premiums for all support levels, including $5, are described on the project's main Web page at http://www.turningworld.org/syria.

Workman, 47, has professional experience mainly in Haiti but worked last in Syria. His late-2012 reporting efforts there left him with an almost oppressive sense of insufficiency. Still, he considers the experience a gift and a privilege. The "Syria in Seasons" project is one road Workman chose on his journey to face and fight his shortcomings and repay his complex debts to Syria, free speech, and photojournalism.

Any publisher's profit from "Syria in Seasons" magazine sales will be earmarked to fund the project. The publisher — Turning World Communications, LLC — is a one-man company Workman founded in 2007.

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