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excerpt from translation of press release of campaign - click on Dutch flag for source text

The First8 Campaign

Worldwide distribution of photography book about poverty in developing countries with U2 song lyrics
Planned launch: 21 September 2004

More than ten years were spent taking photographs in various developing countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia. The shocking experiences and visual testimonies that these photographs convey have resulted in dozens of publications about subjects like AIDS, child labor, famine, refugees, war and repression. The sense of engagement shown by the photographer, Sander Veeneman (41), was recognized by the Dutch government when they chose him to meet and photograph Nelson Mandela a few years ago. Now, finally, all of his achievements are culminating in the current realization of a worldwide photography book campaign.

The idea is deceptively simple: in September TPG Post will mail a pocket-sized photography book, with powerful portraits of people surviving in difficult circumstances throughout the world, to 25,000 people in positions of power. This includes presidents, members of parliament, ministers, captains of industry, religious leaders, monarchs, the Forbes-500‚ as well as leading journalists of press agencies and television networks from all 190 countries of the United Nations. The book will be addressed to each individual personally, by name.

This unexpected approach is a call to them, on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, 21 September 2004, to make an extra effort in the battle against poverty and to remind them of their responsibilities with regard to the Millennium Goals made in 2000.

This little book, which you can slip into your jacket pocket, is remarkably confrontational, showing as it does the black-and-white photographs in juxtaposition with the Miss Sarajevo song lyrics of U2. Bono made the huge exception of granting worldwide permission for his lyrics to be used in this way.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, was given a dummy copy of this book and was full of praise, describing it as the 'power of an individual'. He awaits only a concrete invitation to add extra luster to the planned launch in New York City. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers also endorses the importance of this innovative instrument of confrontation and calls the book 'a sign of hope'.

The plan is to reach the public at large by sending the book in the form of a 'maglet' (an exact copy of the book, printed on thinner paper) as an appendix to weekly magazines around the world. In the Netherlands, magazines like Libelle (700,000 readers), Nieuwe Revu (150,000), Leerkracht (65,000) and Onze Wereld (20,000) have already guaranteed they will distribute the maglet along with all of their issues. These magazines alone will reach 4.1 million readers! It will also be the first time in its 70-year existence that Libelle, a conventional Dutch women's magazine, will confront its readers in such a way with injustice and poverty.

In addition to distributing Miss Sarajevo via weekly magazines, the maglet will be distributed on the day of the launch by diverse bookstores, aid organizations and companies. The effect should ripple like a giant oil spill. Never before in the Netherlands has a consciousness-raising campaign been endeavored on such a grand scale and with such a confrontational character.