Photographer Chris de Bode has been using his creativity and skill for a very worthy cause indeed, aiming to highlight the "silent" humanitarian emergency in Lake Chad by presenting it to thousands of London commuters.
His campaign for the Red Cross saw him shoot the one meal a day that people are being forced to live on, photographing the heartbreakingly tiny platters on medium format in an "igloo studio" set up in the Lake Chad region, which spans Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger and Chad. The area has long suffered from a food crisis brought about by chronic underdevelopment, drought and conflict. Yet this has so far failed to make news headlines. “I was inspired by Instagram food bloggers and used the idea of photographing their precious meals in a white canvas ‘igloo’," says de Bode. "I was humbled by the pride people took in preparing their food and their heart-breaking daily fight just to survive.”
He adds: “While we are all connected through our need for food to survive, it can sometimes be difficult for people to engage with crises in other parts of the world. I wanted to tell their stories in a different way and illustrate the idea of what one meal a day really looks like."
The One Meal a Day series is on show in an exhibition in the courtyard of St Martin-in-the-Field in the capital that aims to raise awareness around the crisis, and runs from 22 May – 12 June.