One Step Closer to Ending World Hunger: Michael Nye
As poverty and climate change have become the most significant causes of world hunger for over six hundred and ninety million people, it has also left them suffering emotionally and physically. This led photographer Michael Nye to educate himself over the course of four and a half years about hunger, where he found a way to teach others about this problem and find strategies to help fix it.
Nye first studied law for ten years and later went on to pursue a career in photography full-time. Through his tours, exhibitions and lectures at universities and museums, he began to gain much recognition for his work. Most known for his photography and audio travelling exhibitions, his work touches upon many important issues one may face in their lifetime; blindness, hunger, mental health and teen pregnancy.
The power of photography has become a tool for photographers to express a story where the audiences are able to empathize with the situation. Nye decided to put this power to use and focus on depicting the impacts of hunger in the United States through his About Hunger & Resilience series. Through the use of the portraits and audios of forty-six people, people were able to share their stories and give us a better insight into the difficult chapter in their life where they faced hunger.
Nye uses black and white headshot and environmental portraits as well as captivating audios in this series where “each face, each voice, invites you to listen”. After travelling around the country, he realized that the results of hunger are harder than many may imagine as it is caused by addictions, lack of education, sexual abuse, job loss, war, teenage pregnancy and much more.
Oftentimes, “people die and no one remembers their stories,” says Nye.
Michael Nye takes this issue into account and created an exhibition to give those who have often been silenced a voice. As food is an essential need for every human being, it has affected many in our own communities without us even realizing it.
These passionate stories have become empowering to the audience where they are able to connect with those experiencing this problem on a different level, leaving them educated and changed. The multimedia exhibition about hunger and resilience relates to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Zero Hunger.
According to World Vision, world hunger refers to those who do not get a sufficient amount of food to consume, mainly affecting those living in developing countries. Eating nutritious foods gives us the energy to keep our bodies moving and fight off many diseases - making us much healthier overall. With one-third of our food around the world often lost or wasted, it has raised social and environmental concerns where people have trouble accessing food. Further, this food waste contributes to the expansion of polluting landfills.
Food banks have acknowledged health disparity issues by making food available for those who do not have access to healthy foods or are dealing with food insecurity in the community. The distribution of donated goods has allowed individuals to have a better diet and reduce the risks of many health conditions and diseases.
The poignant stories from those who experienced hunger in their lives have opened up the eyes of many where they have become more aware of the issue and are now taking action to help end world hunger. It is important for us to think twice before we buy or cook an unnecessary amount of food to help reduce food waste and the uneven distribution of food. Getting involved in our own community by donating to local charities and food banks, as well as volunteering, can bring us one step closer to achieving this goal.
To learn more about Nye’s Hunger and Resilience exhibition, see more here.