“Not to know is bad. Not to wish to know is worse.”
So say an African proverb.
Now our world enjoys immense wealth to the extent that it has never experienced in history. Wealth used to be monopolized by a few elite and privileged classes, but now it is widely distributed among a fairly large number of ordinary citizens. Economic growth and globalization has facilitated the improvement in the standard of living among billions of people of the world. Nevertheless not all people are enjoying wealth. Be it in developed countries or in developing countries, the gap between the haves and the have-nots rather widens on account of the dilemmas and errors that the contemporary society entails, the contemporary society we all live in.
Now the human genome mapping is complete and human cloning possible. Genetics has made considerable progress lately. However, in Africa, yearly about 250,000 women die of pregnancy complications and the complications that arise during labor. On the internet, now we can distribute a large amount of information to the whole world instantly. But in Africa as many as around 40 million children cannot go to school.
Though AIDS is one of the most dangerous diseases in human history, we can now control the disease by using antiretroviral drugs. However, about 25 million people are infected with HIV in Africa, yet many cannot access effective medicines and about 2 million of them die of AIDS every year. What is worse still, there are more people who starve to death in Africa than those who die of AIDS.
The gap between the comfortable life people enjoy in developed countries and the hardships those poor people endure in Africa is so shockingly large that we are all but left with the question, why.
Looking into what those statistical data indicate, we find the harsh reality of the children whose irreplaceable future is in jeopardy. Today again somewhere, the children fight against poverty for their life and die with exhaustion. They are not just deprived of the chance to learn how to read and write. As for the children who suffer from starvation, their bodily growth is hindered and their bodies are deformed on account of malnutrition. They have no option but to drink unclean water and even fall a victim to fatal diseases. A slum is formed one after another. There the children live their daily life, searching for garbage, breathing foul air in the stinking dump ground. In some country in Africa that is suffering from longstanding civil wars, one out of three children is orphan. The number of child soldiers is rising, the soldiers who become a machine to kill others to survive.
In Africa many people live their everyday life in this grinding poverty, under unhygienic conditions, living at close quarters with death. It is to convey this fact that I have taken photographs of these people and shown them to the public. But, to tell the truth, I can’t be sure how much it helps the people in Africa. Nevertheless I believe it is important to show the photograph to as many people as possible and let them feel and deep think something from the images.