VII photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair travels to an invisible situation in India

Médecins Sans Frontières and VII Photo Agency create a new visual identity for global malnutrition

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The photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair travelled to Bihar State in India, for the documentary project Starved for Attention - a collaboration between the photographers of the renowned photojournalist agency VII and one of the leading humanitarian organisations, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

"When I arrived in India, I realised I had to adjust how I saw malnutrition," says MSF nutritionist, Jinette Bailey. "Usually MSF's approach is to save the most lives possible; in the case of india, if you were to actually make that your goal, you would never leave." Around 100 million people live in the state of Bihar, they have limited land, limited resources and they are chronically malnourished.

"People don't see a crisis going on, they'e living in the middle of a status quo that has existed for generations," continues Bailey. "This isn't just about the starving child, it's much more invisible than that, so what we're trying to do in India is treat children but then take the results from that and share that with the Indian Government, we're trying to show that it's very simple and very possible."

Gareth Barrett, medical coordinator in Bihar State, adds: "It's difficult because no one wants to be told, that something needs to be changed. India is a very proud, independent, self-sufficient nation, so Indian solutions to Indian problems are the future."

Using photography and documentary short films, Starved for Attention gives a new visual identity to malnutrition which affects nearly 195 million children across the world and emphasises the great potential for combating early childhood malnutrition.

Starved for Attention will tour the north east of the States in the weeks before World Food Day (16 October) and will be accompanied by a mobile therapeutic feeding centre to illustrate how malnutrition is treated in the field.


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