What is the 24HrProject?
The idea of the 24HourProject is to document humanity in your city for 24 hours. By doing this, the hope is to raise awareness about global issues facing those far less fortunate than ourselves. Starting at midnight on Friday, we photographed, downloaded, processed, and posted one photograph each hour until midnight Saturday. The catch was that you had to post each image to Instagram in the hour that you took it. You were not allowed to post a photograph taken earlier in the day, to a later time slot!
This Year’s NGOs
This year the 24HourProject raised funds for four different NGO’s. Firstly, in Iran, Atena provides a safe house for female victims of domestic abuse. GESMujer in Mexico, offers free psychological care for female victims of violence and operates programs that involve young women in decision-making positions within their communities. Thirdly, Sacred Valley Health provides quality health care services by empowering indigenous women in the under-served rural communities of Peru. Lastly, She Has Hope in Uganda, provides empowerment programs for survivors of human trafficking at their rehabilitation home. She Has Hope also operates several trafficking prevention programs for at-risk girls in rural areas.
According to the 24HourProject 2019 statistics, this year, 4880 photographers from 826 cities in 100 countries took part. I was one of nine that participated in Vancouver, Canada.
Round Two: Similarities
I’m not sure what I was expecting this year as compared to last year, but the experience this time was a bit different. There were similarities. Rain! Yes, just like last year! Luckily the worst of it was during the day. We managed to duck in and out of cover to avoid the worst of it. Just a side note, it was raining so hard that my umbrella became saturated and was rendered totally useless! Thank goodness for my weather sealed Fujifilm X-T3!
The excitement. Yes, lots of that! As soon as we started shooting, I felt my heart rate climb as the thrill of documenting life in the city began to course through me. I have lived in Vancouver most of my life, but seeing the city deep into the early hours is a side of it that I don’t see often. The emotion of capturing unique moments, conversations with strangers, and the time crunch of getting a suitable image posted each hour, meant that there was no end of excitement!
It’s Never the Same Way Twice
It is harder to put into words why I felt this year’s 24HourProject was different from last year. Maybe it was because last year was my first time participating. That experience was extraordinary, as are many firsts.
However, I think the significant difference from last year was that our two main hangouts were no longer open all night. Their closers resulted in us continuously being on the move. Not having a warm, dry place to rest and post images from meant that we didn’t take a lot of time to go through other’s posts from around the world. Seeing what other participants were posting, and reading their comments on our posts, made the world seem much smaller last year. I missed these interactions with participants from different parts of the globe. They had given me the energy to continue shooting when I was tired and pushed me to keep going last year.
This year nine of us met at Waterfront Station at 11:45 on Friday night. It was great to have so many new friends join Maggie and me. After a group picture, we broke into smaller groups and headed out for the night. This year Maggie and I were joined by Ellen, another member of our photography club. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard as I did with these wonderful ladies throughout our adventure. Maggie introduced us to pork steamed buns for breakfast in Chinatown. We mocked the security guard who kicked us out of the plaza at the Telus Garden when we were trying to stay dry. When I was tired, Maggie and Ellen spurred me on. When we couldn’t decide which photograph to post, we helped each other with the selection and suggested edits. But most of all, we laughed! And we covered miles together. This year my watch said that I walked over 36,300 steps!
For me, highlights included running into Julianna. The image that I captured of her last year was one of my favourites from the 2018 Project. I showed her the picture, and we chatted while she posed for me.
Another highlight was running into a group of young photographers from Mississippi! They were astonished to hear that I had lived in southern Mississippi for three years. We chatted for some time about their trip and their photography ambitions. I was so impressed with how well-spoken and driven these young folks were.
Another high point was bumping into the other groups throughout the event. It was fun to talk to them about where they had been. Seeing their images gave us ideas for where we could go next.
Yes! And that is a definite yes! I wouldn’t miss it! The 24HourProject is a great way to challenge yourself photographically. It forces you to let go of perfection and create more thought provoking art. Qualities like sharpness and focus become less critical. Capturing moments, emotions and feelings take precedence. Not to mention that the 24HourProject draws awareness to those less fortunate and raises money for some very well deserving NGOs. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that for my third time, the weather is a bit more forgiving!
Here are the 24 shots I captured, starting at midnight on Friday, though midnight the next day. I hope you enjoy them! Cheers until next time.