Mark Sherratt / Prints for Refugees
Four months ago, photographer Mark Sherratt started Prints for Refugees, an online project which sells prints donated by photographers to help the refugee crisis. All proceeds go to Doctors of the World UK so that they can continue to provide vital medical aid to vulnerable and desperate refugees. At last count there were 54 well known artists and photographers contributing 116 different prints to this project, and many works have quickly sold out, as they are offered at a fraction of their normal asking price.
The success of this project couldn’t have come at a more important time for the refugee situation Europe, and for many considering how to help refugees it’s a welcome mix of charitable aid and photographic gallery that has quickly gone viral. Below, Mark shares some of the background and future goals for this important project.
Photomonitor: What was the starting point for Prints for Refugees, and how have you gotten so many artists involved?
Mark Sherratt: The starting point was really at the time when the refugees we’re in the news a lot more and the picture of Aylan Kurdi, the boy found dead on the beach had just been released, I think like a lot of people at the time I wanted to do something to try to help and having no actual skills to help people fleeing a war, I thought maybe I could sell a few of my prints and give the money to people who would be able to do something useful.
It then occurred to me if I would be up for that maybe other photographers would too, so I emailed around a few people and everybody immediately came back to me with very positive responses so I set up a website and it all went from there.
PM: Where do the proceeds go?
MS: All the proceeds go to a fantastic charity called Doctors of the World. They offer medical help and respite to refugees and vulnerable people. They are working in Calais and have been since before most people even knew there was a problem. They also work with refugees across Europe. To give you an idea, it costs £100 to fund a clinic with one doctor and two nurses for a day and a clinic can see roughly 50 people, so buying one of our prints works out to helping between 50 and 100 people (unless you buy Rankin’s and then it’s lots more).
PM: Is this an online gallery, do you take commission?
MS: I don’t take any commission, when people pay for the print the money goes directly into Doctors of the World’s bank account.
PM: What are your plans for the future for Prints for Refugees?
MS: So far we have raised about £14,000, which is great and means we (or at least Doctors of the World) can help lots of people, but I’m keen to raise more. As for plans for the future, I’m not 100% sure, it’s been great how quickly this has grown so far and I am excited to see how it continues in the new year.
One thing I would like to do is to have an exhibition and am going to start looking into soon, so if any of your readers have a gallery space to offer I’d love to hear from them. Apart from that still looking for more donations and of course still spreading the word about the fantastic prints we have on offer already!
PM: Thank you Mark. Best wishes for the new year to you and good luck with the next steps for this important project.
Mark Sherratt is a commercial and editorial photographer based in North London. After growing up in the cultural capital that is Stoke on Trent, he moved to London and quickly fell into the glamorous world of photography assisting. Once he had wading though enough muddy ponds holding lighting equipment and really perfected making a coffee for photographers he realised he was ready to branch out into shooting pictures of his own. He now takes pictures for magazines such as Monocle and Esquire and for companies including the Post Office and Buxton Water.
Prints for Refugees sells art donated by photographers to help the refugee crisis. All proceeds go to Doctors of the World UK so that they can continue to provide vital medical aid to vulnerable and desperate refugees. Please visit www.printsforrefugees.com for more details on this project, and to view all available prints including twelve highlighted works, at right.