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The following is the introduction taken from the book "Dawn of the 21st Century".

his book is the culmination of a global project that was two years in the making and involved thousands of people around the world. It began with the idea of documenting through photographs a day in the life of our planet – not just any day, but the twenty-four hours encompassing New Year’s Eve 2000.

In April of 1999, a small group of friends joined with me to launch a web site inviting photographers around the world to become involved in the Millennium Photo Project. A group of volunteers working in different countries co-ordinated efforts to translate the site into other languages and to help spread the word among the photography enthusiast community. In February of 2000, a panel of volunteer judges narrowed thousands of entries down to the selection of 500 photos that you find presented here today.

It is solely due to the hard work and dedication of this group of (not so) ordinary people, who met one another on the Internet, that this amazing collection of photographs became possible. I believe this is the first time such a massive international effort to document history (and to make a book!), has been made in such a grassroots community style fashion. A truly exciting and empowering use of the Internet.

A founding principle of the project was that it be open to anyone. Most of the photographs in this book -- more than two-thirds in fact -- were taken by non-professionals. For many, it is their first time being published. All of them chose to spend the end of the old millennium and the dawn of the new, taking photographs for the project. And their own stories are as varied and fascinating as the images they bring to you. Sahir Raza, for instance, is a thirteen-year-old from Delhi, India, who braved a terrible fever to take his picture of a young child collecting firewood. Liz Larrabee is a seventy-five-year-old grandmother of nine, who spent her New Year's Eve documenting the homeless on the streets of Sarasota, Florida, USA.

Though we knew many photographers would choose to focus on the moment of midnight, we hoped that they would also cover every other aspect of life in those pivotal twenty-four hours, and we were amply rewarded by a dizzying variety of subjects, styles, and approaches. Gradually themes began to emerge, and for the purposes of the book we decided to arrange the photographs thematically rather than chronologically. The themes should speak for themselves.

Please enjoy this book and treasure it. A lot of effort went into making it, and its success means a lot to many people. Please tell your friends if you enjoy it and keep it somewhere safe for your grandkids. If you’d like to learn more about the project, how it came about and the photographers who made it happen, please visit the project web site at

Thank you to everyone who helped make it happen.

Alx Klive, Project Founder
Toronto, Canada
September 2000.

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