FORTY-ONE: The Mega-Project / by Laura Dittmann

41 countries.
41 photos.
41 recreations.
1 awesome mega project.

Left: Original image from Honduras.
Right: My recreation on The Esplanade.

This summer, I was honoured to take part in the FORTY-ONE Neighbours Project produced by Jamii (www.jamiiesplanade.org). The community group located forty one people, one from each of the Pan Am countries, who had ties to The Esplanade, & photographed them in their neighbourhood. I took a photo of Liz, owner of Berkeley Bistro, for Canada's contribution & was really excited to see it in print. The photos were then given to a group of students who wrote bios of the participants, which were then translated in a variety of languages & printed in a beautiful book. The book will become part of the Pan Am celebration & will be distributed to representatives & sold in stores, which is an amazing accomplishment for a tiny community in Toronto.

But that's not it!

The book then inspired 3 MORE projects: a dance installation, photography display, & mural project. (Photos of the lively launch party & celebration to come.) For the photography project, myself & six other local photographers recreated each one of the original forty-one photos, & the images side-by-side are currently on display all along The Esplanade promenade.

The recreations were a really interesting & delightful challenge. We wanted to capture the mood of the original but insert local community members in their spaces. We needed to get a little creative sometimes; a bike stood in place for a boat & a parking garage represented a cave.  But the images portray our unique take on the originals.

Original image from Puerto Rico & my recreation.

Original image from Trinidad & my recreation.

Original image from Cuba & my recreation.

Original image from Aruba & my recreation.

Original image from St. Kitts & my recreation.

Original image from St. Kitts & my recreation.

Original image from Venezuela & my recreation.

Original image from Belize & my recreation.

Original image from Panama & my recreation.

Original image from Suriname & my recreation.

Original image from Jamaica & my recreation.

Congrats on another wildly successful project, Jamii. As always, I was thrilled to be part of it.

Get the book on Amazon!

Forty One Neighbours book.