Patricia Garamendi (Ethiopia 1966-68) has brought to my attention a fascinating new book that anyone who served in the Peace Corps might find of value. The book Living On A Dollar A Day: The Lives And Faces Of the World’s Poor was written by Thomas A. Nazario, with photographs by Renée C. Byer.
The book features 215 images bvRenée C. Byer and has a forward by the Dalai Lama. David Griffin the former director of photography at National Geographic helped photo edit and designed the book which recently was awarded 1st prize documentary book award at IPA (International Photography Awards.)
Writer Thomas A. Nazario is the founder and president of The Forgotten International, a nonprofit organization that does poverty alleviation work in several parts of the world.
Renée C. Byer is an American documentary photojournalist best known for her in-depth work focusing on the disadvantaged and those who otherwise would not be heard. She earned a Pulitzer Prize for feature photography in 2007 and made her a Pulitzer finalist in 2013.
Viewpoint Photographic Art Center in Sacramento will have an exhibit of Living on a Dollar a Day, February 11th through March 7th, 2015 at its J Street gallery (2015 J Street, Sacramento). On February 14, from 5:00 to 9:00 pm there will be an opening reception.
To do the book, Byer took a leave of absence from her job as a senior photojournalist for the Sacramento Bee and traveled to 10 countries through four continents over the course of two years. “My work as a photojournalist is usually on an intimate scale through a connection with my subjects,” she explains. “I didn’t have that luxury with this project. I had to work through interpreters or social workers, I would have to get into the country and really explain to them my photography: how I work, how I want stories to unfold, that I don’t want to interrupt people’s patterns and that the dignity of my subjects is paramount.”
After focusing for many years on the difficulties of the working class throughout America, Byer felt it was time to turn her attention to the world and bring the images and message closer to home. “Some pictures are agonizingly painful to look at, but I was conscious to make them in a way that people could imagine themselves in the scene. That was the challenge to ask people to step into the photograph, could they live in these circumstances?” said Byer. “My question is could you live in these circumstances, and if you couldn’t, why wouldn’t you want to help?”
Children Helping Children:
Seeking Shelter in Ghana:
Working to Survive: