07 November, 2008

Mountain 2 Mountain

Okay, I am reposting this so if you see it twice on my blog, my bad.

Hey campers, wanted to bring something to your attention, for those of you are who interested in this sort of thing, which I think is just about everyone.

There is this guy, this crazy photographer, Tony Di Zinno, who I first met, I think, at Art Center in Pasadena. Tony teaches at AC, but spends a lot of his time in the field on...on...adventures shall we say. He shoots people, sports, car racing as well as many of the adventure activities we see on TV. You know, the type of sport that has you writhing in your favorite arm chair as your palms sweat and you talk out loud to yourself, "Oh man, not going to catch me doing that," as you crack open another cold beer or reach for those choco peanuts.

But Tony is involved in a lot more than just snapping pictures. Tony is just involved. One conversation with him and you realize you are speaking with someone who probably isn't watching reality TV. Instead you wonder if he is up at 3am pouring over 3000-year old Tibetan texts, memorizing them and then breaking some secret code. He is wicked smart, and again, involved.

So, he recently sent me a note about a program he is involved in,www.mountain2mountain.com , which is an organization that promotes education and development in mountain communities both at home and abroad.

Tony and M2M have a new project, one that would ring a particular bell with you photo-folks out there, which is a project revolving around the organization, Tony and another photographer, Reza, who is a regular contributor to National Georgraphic. For those of you who don't know Reza, stop what you are doing and go look him up. This guy is the real deal as well, and has produced some of the most epic NG features to date, as well as covered some of the most significant figures in modern times including Shah Massoud, the former leader of the Nothern Alliance. I probably spelled all that wrong, but you get the point.
In fact, his photo, of Massoud," is pasted to the side of my file cabinet which is in the middle of my office!
I was fortunate enough to meet Reza, years ago, at Perpignan, and he spent a long while with me, just talking, and it doesn't take long to realize you are dealing with someone who is committed to what he does beyond the normal call to duty.

Reza started a photojournalism school in Kabul, AINA, and he and Tony are in the process of producing a show from the student work, "Views of Afghanistan" which will go on exhibit in the spring of 2009. This project is based on "Three Cups of Tea" a NYT's best seller by Greg Mortenson. M2M raised over 100k for his foundation that aided in the empowerment of girls in Afghanistan, something not possible under Taliban rule.

If you want to get involved in a grass-roots organization which has a proven track record of effective results, this could be the group for you. There are many ways to get involved so take a peak and learn a little more about this organization. What these folks are doing isn't easy, and it is dangerous to say the least, so take a minute and check out what they are doing.

By the way, the top link is to the blog and this bottom link is to the organization site direct.

Mountain to Mountain

c/o Di Zinno Photography
1246 Huntington Drive
South Pasadena, CA 91030

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