Reporting on humans.

While hitchhiking from Polynesia to Europe.

Producing Crowdfunded Multimedia Dispatches.

 

voyage [voi•iage] – noun


  1. an ambitious journey or expedition from one place to another by land or sea.
  2. Often, voyages. journeys or travels as the subject of a written account, or the account itself: “the voyages of Marco Polo.”

Welcome to Voiiage,

Welcome to Voiiage,

This crowdfunding campaign is a radical documentary experiment motivated by three ideas:

1    Differing cultural approaches to education is a topic largely unexplored by mainstream media.
2    Newspapers are in crisis and we need new, innovative ideas that help make reporting appealing in the age of Internet and connectedness.
3    We need to reevaluate our expectations surrounding travel in a future faced with limited resources and climate change.

So, I'm Ramin

and in December 2014 I will start traveling home.

From Polynesia to Europe without using an airplane: by hitchhiking.

On the way I will document and share multi media dispatches on education, cultures and personal stories which will be freely available.

I am a professional photographer

and so I will document the travel itself, the people I meet and especially the wide topic of education in all its aspects, to capture the most compelling stories of our time where they happen, on the ground.

(click on the photo to see my work)

I will do so with photographs, videos, texts, audio snippets,

maps and background information which will then be presented on a beautiful HTML website as holistic multimedia dispatches. This content will be available for free on voiiage.org for everyone to read, comment and share.

The topics will include education, learning and children

but also our shared humanity, urbanism, climate change, cultural survival, mass migration, local innovations to solve global problems and many, many more!

Every Euro will go directly into producing the stories.

The money will be spend on field expenses which include guides, shelter, food, vaccinations, visas and technical equipment to capture and transfer the content.

Do you want to help create a new, alternative way of reporting online?

Scroll further to read more or

The Project

To make it short, Voiiage aims at inspiring people to get engaged again and to think big . The project itself is an example for that. I am 20 years old and everything I use for this project, from the skills of photographing, writing and designing to the website, the crowd funding campaign and the traveling is self taught.

I had to realize that we have an immense power at our fingertips. So this hopefully inspires people to think about what the Internet and all the new technology that is being thrown at us can mean for us as humanity in the future. To see the chances rather than the dangers.

 

 

Education

I will put a special focus on Education. It is an important topic to me and I think everyone can greatly relate to it. Because education is a human right and one of the most precious and important goods we have to give as humanity to those that will one day define the world we live in. Enabling access to knowledge and skills empowers people to change their and others life.

However, education remains an inaccessible right for millions of children around the world. More than 72 million children of primary education age are not in school, and 759 million adults are illiterate. This is a sad truth. We as a global society have to change this. This will be a mammoth project. The first step towards change is information and understanding! This is where I see my responsibility and Voiiage as a first step in the right direction.

The Travel

The Travel

After a year of hitchhiking and WOOFing (Working on Organic Farms) around New Zealand, my time has come to leave. I came here searching for something and I found what I looked for. It is time to travel home. But the flight I took coming here has used up my Carbon footprint for the next seven years. So out of a growing awareness towards CO2 emissions and their effects on climate change I decided I am going to travel back with as little flying as possible!

After having hitchhiked over 10.000 kilometres just around Europe I thought it is now time to think bigger. I will hitchhike back. Cars, trucks, tuk-tuks, horse carts and anything else that moves. Traveling from Indonesia to Germany on a shoe string, this will be a 35.000 kilometre journey.

The Route

I will start in Auckland by taking a plane to Eastern Indonesia. This is sadly necessary because the Cyclone Season in the South Pacific from November to April makes it impossible to hitchhike sailing boats via Fiji and Papua New Guinea, which my original plan included.

I will fly from Auckland to Manado in the north Sulawesi in Indonesia. Crossing the Islands down to Java I will then continue overland through Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam into China. Going inland I will find my way to Xinjiang from where I will then cross via Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan into Iran. As I have relatives there, I am planning on spending some time around there before going to Turkey as my gateway into Europe. The Balkan states and Eastern Europe interest me a Lot so I will take my time traveling up, revisiting places I have first encountered in my hitch hiking trip through Europe last year.

The Difficulties

There will be many difficulties that I will have to overcome on my own. I have hitch hiked around Europe and have experience from those trips, but those trips have only taught me the very basics. That is why it is so important to me to have enough funds to get through tough times. It is one thing to do extreme travels, it is another one to travel with very little money. Doing both is even more challenging.

Of course, things can always go wrong and if they do it is important for me to always have the chance to fly back. It is not worth seriously risking my health to travel cheaply.

Here are some selected stories that I will most likely be able to cover:

 

  • Following the question how religion and education can or cannot go together in countries like Indonesia and Iran.
  • Fair Trade Production in different countries and for different products
  • Educational centres for adults and children with disabilities in different cultures
    • For Example “St. John’s Institution”, an integrated school faculty for blind girls in one of the best public schools in Kuala Lumpur
  • The Education system in China from Kindergarten to University
  • Projects and Centres teaching alternative healing and meditation in Thailand.
  • Urmia Lake, a dried-out salt lake in north-western Iran.
  • Bam, Iran: After being hit by an earthquake on 26.12.2003 in which 26,271 people died, a Lot of people left Bam. In the aftermath the city was repopulated by many Afghan refugees that created a while new social structure in the city.
  • The situation of Education for Syrian refugees in Turkey and Eastern Europe.

Start

My current location from where I will fly to Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Urmia Lake

Destination

Start on the ground

From here I will start traveling by hitchhiking.

Bam, Iran

The goals I want to achieve with Voiiage:

Countries

have to be raised!

  • Create a community of like-minded and interested people
  • Promote well made online content
  • Document education around the world
  • Prove travel without planes is possible and environmentally friendly
  • Show you can learn and do almost anything on your own
  • Promote positiveness and constructive criticism
  • Share the content that is created for free with as many people as possible
  • Inspire young people around the world to empower themselves with online tools

 

kilometres

Articles, available to everyone

The Perks

GLIMPSE

1$//You will receive a thank you email and my deepest thankful thoughts.

FELLOW TRAVELER

10$//Your name on the Donor Wall at voiiage.org and in the Photo (E-)Book!

DIGITAL MEMORY

25$//The E-book “Voiiage – A Journalistic Journey”!

WINDOWS

45$//Five Hi-Res photo files + a personal thank you message + a description + GPS Coordinates

WANDERLUST

60$//One Postcard from a country along the way.

FERNWEH

100$//Receive Postcards from every country along the way.

SINGLE CARE PACKAGE

150$//A surprise care package from Iran including a traditional scarf, dates and tea.

TSHIRT

200$//A unique T-shirt, made by me with someone on the way.

DOUBLE CARE PACKAGE

300$//Two surprise care packages from countries of you choices.

TRIPLE CARE PACKAGE

400$//Three surprise care packages from countries of you choices.

CORRESPONDENT

700$//A monthly, private Skype conversation with me on the way.

ART COLLECTOR

1000$//A 30cm x 40cm High-Quality photo print on Aluminium.

I need your help but I want to give something back.

If you would like to support me financially you can choose one of the above “Perks” that I will send you as a thank you. Most of them are very personal which is important for me and I hope you will like them.

The Perks are each added on top of all the previous ones. So if you give 150$ you will receive a care package from Iran with a scraf and dates, postcards from every country, 5 High Resolution files and the E-Book after the travel.

Please help me get this campaign out there!

Do you want to help me? Great! I appreciate and value every bit of support, in every form!

If you can and want to support me financially, that’s amazing! I created an IndieGoGo Project where you can choose Rewards you will receive in exchange for your support!

If you cannot give me monetary support, there are still plenty of others ways you can engage and become part of the community. First of all you can make noise about this campaign. Tell friends and interested people about this campaign, send emails, share it on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest or go out on the street and hug a stranger while telling him about Voiiage.

It is very important to me that people out there see this campaign. Not only to raise enough money, but also to create a vibrant community of readers and maybe even contributors worldwide. After all this project is not about money but about education. And I want as many people as possible to read and engage!

If you have a place for me to stay or know someone that does, hit me up! If you have any advise or skills to offer, email me under raminkrause@yahoo.com! From web design to writing, everything is welcome! Lets create a community! Lets make this big! Lets change something!

Want to support Voiiage?

This Crowdfunding Campaign at IndieGoGo.com aims to raise 10.000$ until 16th November 2014.

Want to see an example of a Voiiage-dispatch?

In August 2013 Paul and I set off on a 7000km hitchhiking journey through Eastern Europe. This multi media article tells our story.

Want to know more? Scroll down!

In this extensive article I am explaining the different ideas behind Voiiage, my background as a global citizen, the Route, everything concerning money and the dreams I have for the future of digital Journalism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What's the idea behind Voiiage?

The Dream

 

I want the dispatches on voiiage.org to appeal to a broad range of people, especially those that have lost hope and are politically frustrated. Because those are the people that do not travel, that so not vote on election day and that just stop informing themselves. This is where democracy cripples and nationalism rises, when people buy into the sold fear and believe they cannot change anything.

Now, as an aspiring Journalist that spends plenty of time thinking about these topics there seems to be one essential problem that make things even worse:

 

Journalism is in crisis.

Newspapers around the world go bankrupt, consumers don’t want to pay for content anymore, and it has become harder and harder to earn money with good, well researched, informative journalism. Cut downs, advertorials, and frustrated consumers are the result.  Journalism seems to be less and less able to live up to its role – one that is now more important than it has ever been, especially with emerging global nationalism, climate change and increasing, escalating conflicts on all continents.

Our lifestyle is not sustainable and the medium that should be informing us while presenting us with alternatives is failing to do so. It is instead commercialised, politically influenced by the interest of private owners or tending to populist headlines to attract buyers. It seems so futile.

So what can we do about that?

I cannot claim I can save Journalism. But I know that you can help me accelerate an already existing trend to a more well researched, beautiful multi media online journalism that is financed by it’s readers. This gives journalists the freedom to focus on one topic – enabling them to research well and deliver something that can, in fact, change the world.

 

The idea for this way of storytelling came when I read “A Game of Shark And Minnow”, a multi media article by Jeff Himmelman published on the website of New York Times Magazine.

It opened my eyes to new world of storytelling, and I strongly believe it is the future of journalism.

For more on the my view on the near future of Journalism see “Why Crowdfunding” further down.

Ramin

I have started traveling a few years ago and had the privilege of visiting over 20 countries in the short 20 years of my life. It all started when I was five years old and my mother took me to Iran, the country she grew up in. We spent three months in Teheran at my grandmothers house. I started to mainly converse in farsi, which I still speak.

After that I visited Teheran three more times, the last time with 15, with friends of our family and my aunt and uncle. This was shortly after the Iranian election protests in 2009 and 2010. Soldiers were omnipresent around the city and the atmosphere was noticeably electrified. I believe these experiences started my passion for traveling and getting lost.

 

When I was 16 I lived in Malaysia for a year on an exchange, immersing myself in totally foreign cultures. That’s where my deep passion for photography was triggered. Photos I had taken there were later shortlisted at the Sony World Photography Awards and exhibited in Berlin and London.

Then in 2012 Paul and I hitchhiked from Germany to Morocco and in 2013 we made our way from Cologne to Istanbul and from there via Bulgaria and Romania up to Western Ukraine. You can read a multi media article on that trip here.

Now I have spent the past 10 months in New Zealand, hitch hiking around, woofing, photographing, learning and getting to know myself, far away from “home”. This will be the trip of a lifetime! It will push my boundaries so incredibly to the maximum, which is really what life is all about for me.

It is important to me to emphasise that I am completely self taught and I strongly believe that we all can achieve big things if we want them enough. You don’t need to study photography to take good photos or IT to create a website. I found something big that I wanted to do. This travel is the biggest project I have ever done. It’s pretty crazy. But I know something beautiful is going to come out of it. Help me fulfill my dream!

Examples of my previous work:

Why Crowdfunding?

For a few years I have been thinking about what kind of Journalism I want to consume and which alternative ways of financing there are. One of the answers came to me via social media, the same way that you probably found this campaign:

Krautreporter, a journalism project from Germany has just funded a successful 900.000€ crowdfunding campaign.

This money will pay 25 journalists to create freely available, well researched articles for one year.

Enabled by consumers, for consumers. This is an amazing way for journalistic projects to be financially independent. That way they do not have to rely on advertising and powerful private owners, neither of which should have any place in serious journalism. This is critically important to maintain objectivity!

were raised with Crowdfunding in 2013

%

of all Kickstarter Campaigns are successful

Crowdfunding also creates online communities of likeminded people that can fund incredible things. Together with 16.000 other people I supported Krautreporter with 60 Euros. They will soon be starting to publish their first content and all 16.000 of us can interact with the authors and the editorial. That’s the critical point. It includes the consumer in a productive way into the production process, which only resembles a fundamental trend that the internet brought with itself. Our world is not going to turn backwards. Ever. We have to embrace the changes globalisation brings and turn them into chances.

This project is just a tiny part in a movement of new, constructive ways to shape our future. We have to take our role and responsibility as global and national citizens seriously when topics like climate change, privacy in the age of internet and sustainability become so urgent that there is no time anymore to let the next generation deal with it!

Help me create an inspiration for other young people around the world. To get out of their home. To document our world by supporting sustainable and new ideas with the sole purpose of creating a benefit for the global society we live in!

Let’s make this happen and set an example of what kind of online journalism we want to consume!

Money

This campaign will keep me going for roughly 12 months. The money I receive will be spent directly on Field Expenses along the way. These include:

  • basic food and water costs
  • vaccinations/medical treatment
  • visas
  • technical equipment for high quality recording
  • guides
  • eventual Baksheesh

While traveling I live very cheaply, reducing my needs to the essentials. I have a Hennessy Hammock with me that makes it possible to sleep anywhere between two trees. My main goal will still be to stay with locals, in their gardens or on the ground, to eat with them and get rides with them.

This does keep my costs down, but I do not want to be fully dependent on people that have very little. So apart from helping out with my muscles, it will be essential for me to carry little gifts with me as thank you’s and to have enough funds just in case I get horrible food poisoning or other things go wrong.

It is very important to me not to give anyone the feeling of being exploited with photographs, so while traveling I will have my camera rather tucked away in its bag. After spending time with people I will go with my intuition on when and how to take photos. For example by explaining my project and mailing or printing out copies of their photos for them to keep.

Before leaving for the Journey i will have to stock up my equipment a little. This will include a Go Pro, Camera Batteries, extra Memory Cards, Hard Drives, Hiking shoes, malaria medicine and a Waka Waka.

Equipment Expenses

400€ x 12 =4800€

13€/day

Flight: 500€

Dry Bag: 100€

Hard Drives: 250€

Go Pro: 300€

Memory Cards: 125€

Batteries: 100€

Portable Recorder: 60€

Waka Waka: 60€

Shoes: 100€

Insurance: 60€

Web Hosting: 30€

SIM Cards: 150€

Visas: 700€

Lens: 250€

Small Presents: 400€

Equipment Replacement: 600€


2700 €

Links on education

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 20.26.52

XPrize

 

Donations

When documenting a community or an organization that I think should be supported financially I will upload either their bank or PayPal details on a Donation page so you have a possibility to give money directly to schools, artists and organizations.

I will not be able to guarantee that all the money goes to the project but it will be a possibility to skip big NGOs as middle men and give directly to something you think is worth supporting.

Want to support Voiiage?

This Crowdfunding Campaign at IndieGoGo.com aims to raise 5000€ until November 2014.

Want to see an example of a Voiiage-dispatch?

In August 2013 Paul and I set off on a 7000km hitchhiking journey through Eastern Europe. This multi media article tells our story.

Let's create something beautiful!