Photography project tells stories of poor around the world

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 April, 2013, 4:05am

A photography project by a local think tank is trying to change the way the world views poverty.

Telling the stories of those who will never make the "Forbes 100" list of billionaires is the goal of The Other Hundred - a collection of 100 photographs and stories from around the world that capture the struggles and celebrations of ordinary people.

"The implication of many 'rich lists' is that being rich is the only way to live a life of meaning," said Chandran Nair, CEO of the Global Institute for Tomorrow, the local social venture think tank that started the project.

"The reality is that the majority of the people in the world are not rich, and we wanted to tell their stories … but not in a stereotypical way. What would a photo of poverty look like that's not another child in Africa with flies buzzing around her?"

A global call for submissions in January concluded this month, and a panel of some of the world's best photographers and designers are now in Hong Kong to comb through 12,000 images to select the 100 entries to be published in a hardcover book. The book will be released this autumn, and its proceeds will go to charities.

Leading Chinese designer Richard Hsu said: "It's not just for the world to see, it's for the Chinese to see … especially the young people who are less set in their thinking and want to learn about social issues," he said.

Among the submissions were more than 20 photographs featuring Hong Kong and more than 100 of the mainland, including a series of factory workers' wedding portraits.

"We're looking for photographs that tell stories of how people are struggling to live in one of the most expensive cities in the world," said Nair, who added that one of his favourites from Hong Kong was a photo of a woman selling mobile phones on the street.