Europe stands at a crossroads. Millions of people are fleeing the war in Ukraine, and many thousands more are trapped in a desperate situation. Worth remembering too is that the Ukrainian crisis is only the most recent tragedy—victims of war and violence across the globe need help. If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent much of the last two weeks doomscrolling and wondering what you can do to help.
A few days ago, I decided I needed to do something. Like many of you, I have an online store where I sell prints of my work. I am now, for a limited time, donating the profits from those sales (who to? We’ll get to that in a moment). I don’t have a huge social media presence, and I’m terrible at self promotion, so I’m not in a great place to make a large impact by myself. I’ll probably raise a few hundred euros. But I’d like to raise a few thousand, or (dare I dream?) tens of thousands.
Then it occurred to me: The 35mmc community is brimming with other delightful photographers, and many of you sell prints online too. What if we worked together? Many hands make light work, and I believe working together, we can make a real, positive impact for Ukrainian refugees, and more.
What’s the request?
I’m asking two things:
First to consider donating profits from your print sales to support the Ukrainian crisis
Second to help promote the collective effort of everyone participating.
You don’t need to do both to help! Even just help promoting the campaign is something!
Do you sell prints?
Through the 25th of March (to create a sense of urgency), offer to your customers that some percentage of your profits (ideally 100%!) will be donated to a cause helping alleviate suffering in Ukraine. Use your social media and other networking channels to promote your efforts. And—this is the critical part—help promote other photographers doing the same.
If you want to participate, in the comments below leave
- a link to where folks can buy your art
- the name you want us to use—maybe your personal name, maybe your business name
- an image that you believe best embodies the art you sell that folks can share
- and of course your social media handles!
Can you help promote?
Even if you don’t sell prints of your work, you can help out. In the next day or two, I’ll collect the list of everyone participating in a new blog post as a single list people can refer to. Then everyone can help us promote that list wherever you have a platform.
Where hashtags are a thing, use #PrintsForPeace.
Other things you can do!
We could use some consistent imagery to use—maybe you have artistic skills (or a photograph!) you could contribute to use as a hero image and in social media? Maybe you’re connected to other artistic communities that might be interested in joining in? Perhaps you’re good with words, and can help share this effort through other channels? There are undoubtedly other ways you could chip in. (At this point, I should give a huge thanks to Hamish, owner of this site, for generously donating this very platform to get the ball rolling!)
What charity? Who collects the money?
It’s up to you: You need to pick the organization that has the kind of impact you believe in.
But, I strongly recommend the International Committee of the Red Cross. The ICRC are the feet on the ground getting civilians through the humanitarian corridors (such as they are), and to safety; they get emergency supplies where they are needed; and they help repair and maintain critical civilian and medical infrastructure. And of course, they operate in many more places than just the Ukraine.
Otherwise, just as you handle your own sales, it is up to you to donate the proceeds directly yourself. No one here is collecting any money from anyone else.
My goal is to coordinate an action, not to create a centralized bottleneck.
Then, at the end of the campaign, share how much you raised! Post your donation receipt, and we’ll tally everything up not just for transparency’s sake, but also as a bit of friendly competition.
Sound good? Join me, and let’s use our art to make the world a better place. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!