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Click below for segments from a recent audio conversation between Lou Dematteis and Michael Costuros, the founder of liveBooks. Lou speaks candidly about the tangible social change produced by the project and how his involvement with the cause continues to nourish his own passion and creativity.
Part 1: How did Amazon organizers initially use your images? “I found out that photographs I had taken that I had passed on for use in Ecuador had been used as part of an education and organizing campaign.”
Part 2: How did the book Crude Reflections come about? “In 2007 we received a Distribution Grant from the Open Society Institute, and that allowed us to print a set of photos and display them back in the Amazon, so the people living this and experiencing this had a chance to see their photos. They were literally in tears.”
Part 3: What effect has the book had in South American communities? “The book is bilingual…we didn’t just want to produce a book we were going to show in the United States. We wanted to make it useful and available to people in Ecuador and Latin America.”
Part 4: How has this project enriched your life? “I’ve developed an incredible bond with many people there. They are very thankful that I’ve helped give a voice to their community. That is tremendously fulfilling to me.”