Photo by Amber Terranova/PDN

Commuters and shoppers passing through New York’s Union Square on Tuesday were presented with information on the fight against malnutrition in an unusual way: At an outdoor exhibit of photographs displayed around a field hospital set up by Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).  The photos, as wells as videos shown on monitors inside the hospital tents, were created by photographers with VII Photo Agency as part of Starved for Attention, the global multimedia and online campaign created in association with MSF.

MSF doctors and nurses gave tours of the hospital and describe their work in the field; VII photographers Jessica Dimmock and Ron Haviv were on hand to answer questions about their photo projects.   Union Square was the first stop on an exhibition tour that includes Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.

None of the photos in the exhibit, taken in Burkina Faso, India, Bangladesh, Congo and elsewhere, show the now familiar images of starving children with bloated bellies, Haviv notes.

Inside field hospital; photo by Amber Terranova/PDN

“Most people hear ‘malnutrition’ and their minds go to ‘famine,’” he says. “The larger tragedy of malnutrition is that kids can’t go to school, or they’re fainting in class. More importantly, kids who are malnourished cannot grow up to be productive citizens.” The outdoor exhibition “makes people stop,” says Dimmock. Passers-by can then learn more about each of the stories told in the photos by viewing videos or reading the text displayed inside the field hospital.

Jason Cone, director of communications for Doctors without Borders  conceived the Starved for Attention presentation with photographer Ron Haviv and VII managing director Stephen Mayes. “The photos are a way to bring people back into a story that people think they already know,” he says.

Cone notes that there’s been a revolution in the treatment of acute malnutrition, thanks to the production of easily stored, easily transported, ready-to-eat nutritional supplements such as Plumpy Nut. Now, Cone notes, mothers are given the supplements so they can treat their children at home, and only the most severely malnourished or dehydrated need hospitalization.

As a result, the numbers that MSF can treat in the field have grown exponentially.  However, the US, the world’s largest food aid donor, supplies nutrition programs around the world with bags of fortified flours made of corn and soy, which is inadequate for infants and children. The MSF field hospital replica offers visitors the chance to sign a petition urging governments of the largest donor nations to make sure their food aid meets certain nutritional standards.

Ron Haviv, Jessica Dimmock. Photo by Amber Terranova/PDN

Not all the photos in the exhibition feature the work of MSF. In Mexico, for example, where the government has made childhood nutrition a part of its anti-poverty programs, John Stanmeyer photographed mothers in a remote rural area receiving ready-to-eat food products during an annual checkup. In Pennsylvania, Dimmock photographed mothers enrolled in the federal Women and Infant Children program (WIC), which provides mothers with vouchers to purchase certain nutritious foods, such as eggs, fruit, and milk, in contrast to the unnourishing food the US sends to mothers in developing countries.

Viewers can get an Action Kit, which includes a classroom curriculum and slide show, and sign the MSF petition, which can be found at

The exhibition and feeding station will next be staged in Brooklyn’s Grand Army Plaza September 14-16 and September 21-23, then move to Philadelphia’s Independence National Park September 30 to October 2, followed by Baltimore’s Pulaski Monument Area and Washington’s John Marshall Park.



Photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans Killed in Libya

Posted by on Monday October 3, 2016 | Obituary, Photojournalism

Dutch photojournalist Jeroen Oerlemans, 45, was killed in Sirte, Libya, on October 2 while on assignment for the Belgian magazine Knack and other publications, Al Jazeera reports.  His body was taken to Misrata, where a doctor reported that Oerlemans had been shot in the chest by a sniper for ISIS, which has been fighting for... More

Dotan Saguy’s Advice for Shooting Street Photography

Posted by on Friday September 2, 2016 | Photojournalism

©Dotan Saguy A former tech entrepreneur now pursuing photography as a second career, Dotan Saguy has gained notice for his project about the vitality, energy and spectacle of Venice Beach. National Geographic, ABC News, and others have published the work online, and Saguy, 46, has been invited to attend both the Missouri Photo Workshop and... More

Getty Images Awards $50,000 In Grants to Five Photojournalists

Posted by on Thursday September 1, 2016 | Awards/Contests/Grants, Photojournalism

Mary F. Calvert, Kirsten Luce, Katie Orlinsky, Sergey Ponomarev and Jonathan Torgovnik have each won a $10,000 grant from Getty Images through its annual Grants for Editorial Photography program. The program aims to  “showcase and support powerful and inspiring photojournalism projects,” says Getty Images, which announced the winners today. Ponomarev, based in Moscow, was recognized for his... More