When this body of works by Stephen Shames was being judged for the Kodak Crystal Eagle Award for Impact in Photojournalism at Pictures of the Year, there was a lot of silence and sighing in the audience.
Most of us were disgusted that such scenes were captured in the USA, the world richest and most powerful nation.
How is this possible?
Nobody was doubting Shames’s images. We were just asking how could there be children, the future of any society, be deprived of the very basic necessities to live daily.
Shames is still at it after five decades, using his images to try change the world for the better.
One of the best things for me doing this little archival project is the chance to revisit many of these images again.
Some of these darkness I saw decades ago, I just cannot unsee them.
Shames’s picture of the young boy getting a puff is one of those that has haunted me for years.
Now that I have re-seen the images again after all these years, they will be renewed in my memory bank for another 30 years.