The photographs in this book show people from diﬀerent countries, communities and cultures, of diﬀerent ages, genders and beliefs. But these people have one thing in common: their lives have been blighted by blindness which could, and should, have been avoided.
There are 285 million people in the world who, because of causes that are completely avoidable, can no longer participate in the world as they once did, who live in a world of darkness. Many have had their independence stripped from them, and the lives of their families have changed forever, too. The farmer struggles to harvest his crops, the child stops attending school, the mother cannot see the faces of her children as they grow and change.
Five multi-award winning photographers – Poulomi Basu, Sam Faulkner, Adam Ferguson, Ashley Gilbertson and Andrew Quilty – visited seven countries around the world – Australia, Fiji, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Uganda – to shine a light on the lives of those aﬀected by avoidable forms of blindness.
The projects they recorded and that appear in this book are all funded by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust and Standard Chartered, who both work with a mandate to tackle avoidable blindness around the world. By supporting partners in selected countries, and by working alongside governments and global bodies, they are seeking to establish sustainable, scalable projects that bring quality, aﬀordable eye care to all those who need it.
The photographs bear witness to the selﬂess determination of some of the people already working across the globe on these projects – from school teachers who have been trained to test the vision of their pupils, to volunteers who travel by bicycle to prepare communities for the visit of an eye doctor, to ophthalmologists who work in the remotest settings to train a workforce of eye health workers.
To achieve a world that is truly free from avoidable blindness, more partners and players must take action to help to deploy the straightforward, known solutions that can make an incalculable diﬀerence to the lives of the millions of individuals and families who are unnecessarily aﬀected.
It is time to see.