India has always been a hot favourite for all the photographers and explorers when it comes to topics like hunger and poverty. This time again, Italian Photographer Alessio mamo decided to capture the hunger and poverty in India and showcase it in front of the world but Twitterati is not happy with it.
The award-winning Italian freelance photographer Alessio Mamo depicted malnourished children with their faces covered with their hands in his latest photo series on World Press Photo’s Instagram handle. He explained that he presented the table “and some fake food and then “told people to dream about some food that they would like to find on their table.” The moment he shared his work on the social media, it triggered a storm as netizens felt it as an insensible move. The photographer earned many harsh comments on the pictures. Mamo further claimed that the pictures he took are from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh as they are the poorest states in India.
Here is his viral post and the outrage it has triggered-
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These photographs are from Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh two of the poorest states of India. From the series "Dreaming Food", a conceptual project about hunger issue in India. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ [This project has been the subject of much online debate. Please read Alessio Mamo’s statement, released on 24 July 2018, giving more details and apologising for any offence: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/my-statement-on-dreaming-food-7169257d2c5c] ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ My name is Alessio Mamo (@alessio_mamo) an Italian freelance photographer based in Catania, Sicily. In 2008 I began my career in photojournalism focusing on contemporary social, political and economic issues. I extensively cover issues related to refugee displacement and migration starting in Sicily, and extending most recently to the Middle East. I was awarded 2nd prize in the People Singles category of #WPPh2018 and this week I’m taking over World Press Photo's Instagram account. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Despite economic growth, a majority of the Indian population still lives in extreme poverty and disease. Behind India’s new-found economic strength are 300 million poor people who live on less than $1 per day. Government figures may indicate a reduction in poverty. But the truth is, with increasing global food prices, poverty is spreading everywhere like a swarm of locusts. These pictures are taken in rural areas where conditions are worse than in the cities and where close to 70% of India’s population reside today. Statistics show that 2.1 million children under 5 years old die of malnutrition annually. The idea of this project was born after reading the statistics of how much food is thrown away in the West, especially during Christmas time. I brought with me a table and some fake food, and I told people to dream about some food that they would like to find on their table. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #WPPh2018#asia #dreamingfood #india
Wow, this is tasteless and crass. From photographer @alessiomamo: "I brought with me a table and some fake food, and I told people to dream about some food that they would like to find on their table.” https://t.co/kXHa5Tv9rv pic.twitter.com/eeZXUlNMak— ǝlʇʇʎl ɐssılǝɯ (@melissalyttle) July 22, 2018
I just.. as an NGO photographer, I cannot fathom the level of thoughtlessness that went into making these images. I hope my empathy never wanes to the point that I would be able to justify this type of work.— Annalise Kaylor (@annalisekaylor) July 23, 2018
1/This was a very badly-thought concept, one that follows the many "here's all the food a kid eats in a week" concept we see all the time. But this one turned exploitative. It rightly should be criticized ! The work should never have been produced.— olivierclaurent (@olivierclaurent) July 23, 2018
@WorldPressPhoto before you hand off you IG feed to former award winners - take a look at their work and screen for exploitation and cruelty.— Kainaz Amaria (@kainazamaria) July 22, 2018
“I brought with me a table and some fake food, and I told people to dream about some food that they would like to find on their table.” pic.twitter.com/eOfUZY82LJ
This photographer brought his own fake food to put in front of these starving children in India. He asked them to dream about what kind of food they wanted to put on the table. This is an example of #journalism with no moral compass. @WorldPressPhoto why are you supporting this? pic.twitter.com/4hmDzSJO45— Lauren Wolfe (@Wolfe321) July 23, 2018
Mamo won the second prize at the World Press Photo of the Year Awards 2018 in the People category for his photo of an 11-year-old victim of a missile explosion in Iraq’s Kirkuk. Well, we don’t think he is winning another award for the above photos.
This week #WPPh2018 Photo Contest winner @alessio_mamo takes over our Instagram feed! Alessio was awarded 2nd prize in the People Singles category, for this picture of Manal. Check the feed for more: https://t.co/R1k6mFF5IC pic.twitter.com/F9LfxSEDVE— World Press Photo (@WorldPressPhoto) July 16, 2018