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The Story Behind That Picture - 82
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© 2011-2012 Jan Grarup


The story behind that picture:
"Support the Jan Grarup Project in Somalia"

By: Thorsten Overgaard


The winner of the Oskar Barnack Award 2011, Jan Grarup, is seeking your support for his continued coverage of the situation in Somalia. By acquiring a signed/numbered print for ONLY € 150, or simply by donating, you can help.

When I heard about this project, I wanted to support it. Please do so, too!

(Update, December 2012: Jan Grarup went to do this project and came back August with a series of mindblowing pictures. A series was used to make a special section in Denmarks largest Sunday newspaper about the situation in Somalia. And the photos will create more waves in the coming weeks, months and years. The point to the update however is this: Since June when we started this project, a lot of prints were sold but there are still som left. By buy buying your own signed print today you can still support this cause and help Jan Grarup get back some of the expenses he paid for him self. – Thorsten Overgaard).

Here is what Jan Grarup has to say about the project:

"As you know I have been working on and off in Somalia and the horn of Africa on my project called 'Caught Between War and Famine' telling a very (large) story about 22 years of war and hunger. I have covered very (large) Large twice synonym for the above ‘long’ perhaps?  parts of the country – all the way from Bosasso in the North to Mogadishu in the South, as well as the fragile border regions.

But something is missing which is why it is very important to tell the full story: South of the country is still in control by the Al-Shabaab who also call themselves for Al-Qaeda now.

"It is difficult, very dangerous and hence very expensive to travel in this area. Even more difficult and dangerous are the pirates in Puntland who are right now, holding many foreigners captive for ransom. Through my contacts in the country, I have gotten in contact with the leaders of one of the groups of pirates, and I am travelling there to document the life of the hostages as well as the life of the pirates.

"As all of you can imagine it is very difficult - and the risk of them taking me as a hostage as well, is highly present. For that reason my contacts in Mogadishu say we need to bring our own guards from Mogadishu, since we cannot trust local militias."

Normally when Jan Grarup works in Mogadishu, he has 12 guards around him at all times. This time he needs to bring several more and the price of this is more than US$ 22,000 for two-three weeks and this is why he is doing crowd funding. To fund the extra expenses for security:

"I have already used all my contacts to put in as much as I can - mainly for the travel expenses, which come on top off the security. Somalia is by far one of the most dangerous and expensive places I have ever worked, but also one of the most interesting stories to tell - both in terms of the progress in the country, as well as all the problems Somalia still have to deal with after 22 years of war."



"You have to be where you are to do good photojournalism"

  - Jan Grarup in the Oskar Barnack Award interview  

"That is why I am looking for as much support as possible. I have never tried 'crowd funding' before – and I figured that if I offered something in exchange, I would feel better."

Donate € 150 Euro to the Jan Grarup Project and you will receive one of these 300 signed and numbered limited prints, 30 x 40 cm

"So I have decided to make a 30x40 signed/numbered print for all who want to help, with gratitude on the back, and then offered at a much lower price than what I normally sell prints for. I know it is not much to give back!"

"I sincerely hope some of you understand and will support the project - It might be a new way for us to help each other to produce high quality photojournalism.

If anyone would like to get more information - I can be contacted via mail at

"Best regards and thanks for the support!"

Click to buy your Jan Grarup limited signed print 30 x 40 cm.


For more on this, read the story The Mayor of Mogadishu in Photo District News.


Thorsten Overgaard, June 28, 2012
Updated December 2012



Photo above: © 2011-2012 Jan Grarup.
A young man carries a shark to the city’s fish market to be cleaned and sold after a morning fishing trip. With piracy a growing issue in the seas, no Western fisherman risk entering the surrounding Indian Ocean, leaving it abundant with sharks and other sea creatures.

Support Jan Grarup:

To buy the signed, limited print:

For other donations and payments, use:
Nordea Bank
Reg. No. 5501
Account no. 5013020014
IBAN DK 882 000 5013 02 00 14
Beneficia: Jan Grarup

Jan Grarup at NOOR IMAGES

Jan Grarup at


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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish born multiple award-winning AP photographer, known for his writings about photography and Leica cameras. He travels to more than 25 countries a year, photographing and teaching workshops which cater to Leica enthusiasts. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

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