Tuesday, October 12, 2010

'Starved for Attention' Chronicles Malnutrition

Medicins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) and VII Photo Agency have partnered to produce a series of short online videos that chronicle the devastating impact of childhood malnutrition throughout the world, "Starved for Attention."

Top videojournalists have committed to this humanitarian project in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, India, Mexico, and the United States.

Marcus Bleasdale, Jessica Dimmock, Ron Haviv, Antonin Kratochvil, Franco Pagetti, Stephanie Sinclair, and John Stanmeyer traveled to malnutrition “hotspots” around the world -- from war zones to emerging economies -- to shed light on the underlying causes and innovative approaches to combat this condition.

An estimated 195 million children worldwide suffer from the effects of malnutrition, with 90 percent living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Malnutrition contributes to at least one-third of the eight million annual deaths of children under five years of age.
In honor of World Food Day on October 16, Telegraph21 video magazine is featuring six stories from this series.

For Invisible, photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair turned her lens on a Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) program in Bihar state (India) which treats children at the epicenter of one of the world's malnutrition hotspots. These children descend from generations of a chronically undernourished population, where malnutrition is so pervasive, it is almost invisible.

In Terrifying Normalcy, photojournalist Ron Haviv documents the challenges of food insecurity, rapid climate change and poverty that make malnutrition so pervasive on the densely-populated island of Bhola in southern Bangladesh. In his intimate portraits, Haviv captures the resignation with which Bhola's malnourished mothers and children accept a chronically-meager food supply.

“Documenting malnutrition has been one of the toughest challenges our agency has faced,” says Ron Haviv. “We believe that we have found a completely new visual language to tell this story -- one that has the potential for great impact.”

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