by Sam Spence
Less than seven hours before the Kickstarter fundraising period for photographer Pete Marovich’s Shadows of the Gullah was set to close, the project got the boost it needed, pushing Marovich’s visual history of Gullah culture over its $7,000 goal.
Thanking the project’s 48 supporters, Marovich, profiled by the City Paper in a cover story on November 26, told backers, "I will be making plans through the end of the year for trips back to the Sea Islands."
The Washington, D.C.-based photojournalist, whose military family moved to the Lowcountry when he was young, has been chronicling the plight of the Gullah/Geechee culture for more than a decade, traveling to Hilton Head Island, St. Helena island, and Sapelo, G.A. as part of the project. As real estate development brings outside pressures to historic Gullah communities on the pristine South Carolina and Georgia sea islands, in 2004, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named the area around the federally-designated Gullah/Geechee Heritage Corridor one of the most endangered places in the United States.
Marovich says he plans to use the $7,331 raised through Kickstarter, a website that facilitates crowd-sourced funding of creative work, to revisit the area and complete his work. Depending on their initial contribution amount, Shadows supporters will receive updates from Marovich, photo prints, and signed books at the conclusion of the project.