Picture author: Barry Malone
Picture date: July 23, 2011
An aid worker using an iPad captures an image of a dead cow’s decomposing carcass in Wajir near the Kenya-Somalia border on July 23. The Horn of Africa was plagued by drought, and especially since famine was declared in parts of Somalia, the international aid industry came to many refugee camps and remote hamlets in branded planes and snaking lines of white 4x4s. Analysts say that humanitarian and diplomatic actions are necessary every time people go hungry in Africa. African and foreign governments rarely respond on time to coming catastrophes. Overgeneralised explanations of the causes of famine, and a growing band of aid critics say parts of Africa are doomed to a never-ending cycle of ignored early warnings, media appeals and emergency U.N. feeding - rather than a transition to lasting self-sufficiency.
African governments know that drought is coming, because it’s a cycle, and still they do not prepare. Foreign charities working there talk about long-term plans to help people become self-sufficient but they have been failing to achieve them for 20 years. It is as much about politics and war and poor economic policies as it is about no rain. The author told this about his feeling regarding to taking the picture:
Part of me felt bad for publishing the photo of the man with the iPad. Because he was a good person doing his job. And because we are the same.
He comes with an iPad, I come with a notebook.
Both of us steal dignity and neither of us belong.