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Leading Photographers Pitch In for Sale to Benefit Ukrainian Red Cross

by News Desk

CREATING NEW FRAMEWORK: A group of established photographers, curators and media types have united to create Images for Humanity, a nonprofit that is using photography to help people in crisis.

Established by lensman Andy Anderson and Max Hirshfeld, the organization is kicking off the Ukrainian Crisis Fundraiser print sale on Tuesday. The work of more than 100 photographers is being offered on the Images For Humanity website. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the Ukrainian Red Cross, which has helped 950,000 people across the country thus far since the war started.

During an interview Monday, Anderson, who is based in Idaho, said the group was initially set up as a way to support the Ukrainian people in a meaningful way and is expected to help with other humanitarian crises. His plan involved lining up images from the best-known photographers, as well as emerging ones throughout the world. “Max and I have both been in this business for a long time. We know the power of photography and what it can do for things especially in crisis,” Anderson said.

InStyle and Rolling Stone photography director Laurie Kratochvil, People’s deputy director of photography Allyson Torrisi, Square’s photo art director Amy Feitelberg, Communication Arts magazine’s editor at large Anne Telford and Meta’s creative director Penn Li are among those pitching in with Images for Humanity.

Henry Lleutwyler, Red Cross Arm Bands, Crescent Museum, Geneva, 2013.
Courtesy of Images for Humanity

As for how photography still can be gripping enough to make people really consider a situation, Hirshfeld said: “Because we are so inundated with imagery and it’s become so commonplace, great imagery rises to the top.…Even though there are however many billion images that are floating around the internet as of today [3.2 billion images were reportedly shared daily via social media as of fall 2020], there is still that sheer familiarity of photography but also the undeniable strength of it. When people talk about photos in a publication, I like to suggest if you could imagine a publication or something online without photographs — with just white boxes — ultimately, it’s lost its whole impact.”

Via the sale, supporters will find photos from Rankin, Albert Watson, Herb Ritts, Kennedi Carter, Ike Edeani, Mary Ellen Mark and Cait Oppermann, among others. Individuals can purchase an archival print from an unsigned and unnumbered edition of 10 with each $250 donation. Photographers Ron Haviv and Dabid Butow, who each have been to Ukraine since the war erupted, are also involved with the sale.

Andy Anderson, Mock Charge, April 2007.
Courtesy of Images for Humanity

The expectation is that more than $300,000 will be raised for the Ukrainian Red Cross, due partially to early support from a few deep-pocketed friends, according to the founders. The platform also has a stand-alone donation component as another way to support the initiative.

Other efforts related to helping with the crisis in Ukrainian are expected to pop up, Anderson said.

The Washington, D.C.-based Hirshfeld added: “It seems like an increasingly unsettled time on the global stage. It’s sad to say that we may feel this urge after this ends.”

For the time being, he said: “We’re so thrilled to be able to get some outreach here that is going to impact a lot of people. So many of us, at least the people I speak to in my community, are trying to figure out what to do — how do you help? It’s pretty easy to write a check. Even furthermore to be able to contribute to something like this with a donation, which you in return receive something that you fall in love with that’s tactile and visually remarkable, is for me, a very satisfying endeavor.”

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