I have heard people who have gone on a trip to India and returned without seeing poverty. Others have gone on an African safari and the closest thing they have seen to malnutrition is a hungry feline in the savannah. Some trips packaged and prepared as a tour try to avoid anything that is uncomfortable in the eyes of the tourist. On the contrary, there are other travelers who seek to contrast reality and do the opposite.
Last Tuesday I went to the presentation of the book by photographer Alfons Rodríguez. With the title of The Third Horseman - A hungry world, the author presents hunger in the world through his photographic eye in countries like India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Haiti, Guatemala, Congo, Chad, Sudan and Burkina Faso.
Forget the typical colorful images of tropical countries. The book, with almost 300 pages of black and white photographs, escapes the politically correct scene to get closer to the stark reality of the famine in the world.
Alfons Rodríguez flees from the usual code of ethics of the NGOs and in his photographs we see and feel the pain of children and families desperate for hunger and the diseases that happen to him. In many cases, the photographs could be classified as hardcore that the usual communication channels try to avoid, but they are realities like fists.
Currently we live on the planet seven billion people and one in seven suffers hunger and malnutrition. The Third Horseman of the Apocalypse rides right now, and for many years, for the Earth on his black horse, at ease, and whips with the evil of the famine.
During the presentation, José María Vera, general director of Intermón Oxfam, and José Antonio Bastos, president of Doctors without borders. From his words I get the unfair feeling that we have reached the 21st century and we are getting worse. There are very cheap therapeutic methods to combat malnutrition but it barely reaches 16% of the 20 million children who need it. The political and global world is interested in something else and the numbers are not deceiving: one billion euros goes to military spending and 40 million to cosmetics, four times more than the money that goes to fight poverty.
The stories that Alfons tells through your images will not leave anyone impassive. If you are looking for a Christmas gift and want to escape from the usual purchases, who knows, maybe Alfons' book is a good solution to raise awareness.
To learn more about the project: The Third Rider - Official Page
Point of sale of the online book: The Third Horseman - The book