SOAS University of London

Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London

Feed Ourselves

Photographs by
Hiroji Kubota and John Vink

29 April – 21 June 2002

Photos, in association with the School of Oriental and African Studies, are pleased to present 'Can We Feed Ourselves?'. Profiling the photography of Hiroji Kubota and John Vink, the exhibition considers the all-important question of food shortages currently afflicting 40 countries globally. The resulting exhibition is a visual dossier on the growing crisis of food production, population and the environment, in Asia and parts of Africa.

In 1997, Kubota embarked upon intensive photographic coverage of one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, that of achieving sustainable food security. He focussed his coverage on Asia to help illustrate this universal issue completing his series entitled, 'Can We Feed Ourselves?' in 1999. Culminated in the exhibition are images representing similar issues faced in parts of Africa. A selection of John Vink's images illustrate the extent of the problem being faced by Sudan, Malawi, Angola, Mali, and Nigeria today.

The exhibition acts as a testimonial to the growing tide of political crises in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia that have led to a near explosion in food emergencies. The goal of achieving sustainable food security in the decades ahead emerges as one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced. Without food security, there can be no sustainable peace, no democracy and no development, leaving countries economically vulnerable and exacerbating world hunger.

Four photographers – Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, and David "Chim" Seymour, founded the photographer's cooperative Magnum Photos in 1947. They created Magnum to reflect their independent natures as people and photographers, an idiosyncratic mix of reporter and artist that continues to define Magnum, emphasizing not only what is seen but also the way one sees it. Magnum photographers continue to chronicle the world and interpret its peoples, events, issues, and personalities.

Funding for this exhibition was made possible by the generous support of The Rockerfeller Foundation.