Desperate Times Call for Drastic Measures

Hungry African Male. Digital image. First Praxis. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. .

This image demonstrates the extreme issue of hunger and starvation occurring in Africa.

This image features an African boy. He is the focal point of the image since his body takes up the most space and his skin color is darker than the objects around him. The camera catches him from the side. His arms are extended out in front of him, holding onto the sides of a cow’s rear. The boy’s left hand is holding the cow’s tail out of the way so that his mouth can be pressed firmly against the cow’s behind. His right leg is bent out in front of him, while he puts his pressure on his left leg. His back is hunched and bent over. His neck is bent back, with his face firmly pressed into the cow. The boy appears to be standing on dirt ground. He is unclothed, completely naked and covered in filth. The boy is extremely thin (skin and bones). In the background, there are a few other large animals resting on the ground. Closer to the boy and the cow is a pile of cow manure.

From viewing the image, it can be interpreted that the African boy is hoping to catch the excrements of the cow into his mouth. By looking at the boy’s physical state (skin and bones), he appears to be extremely malnourished. By looking at his body language (lunged forward/face pressed against the cow), he appears to really want what the cow has. Therefore, it can be interpreted that the boy is so hungry that he desperately wants to eat cow excrements. If the boy were disgusted by having to resort to this act, which most people would be, he might be sitting under the cow with an angry or disgusted look on his face. Or, he may be sitting near the pile of manure, picking at it. Clearly the boy is starving from looking at his drastic lunge into the cows behind. Since the boy is naked and covered in dirt, one can interpret that he has no belongings and has no way of cleaning himself. These factors emphasis the seriousness of the boy’s desperate situation and how alone he must be that no one is caring for him. This source of nutrition is an absolute last resort for anyone, which makes the viewer feel for what the African boy has to go through for his own survival. The fact that he must eat cow excrements for a chance at survival should make viewers realize the extremity of the prevalent issue of hunger in Africa.

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2 comments

  1. This was a very good choice in photos, he grabbed my attention right away. I like that you switched it up this time and pick a photo that illustrated an older boy fighting for his own meals. It is really terrible that he had to resort to excrements. The only thing I think you could have done differently was to not described the boys physical shape in the second paragraph like when you said “looking at the boy’s physical state (very thin and boney)”, but to describe and expand on that in the first paragraph. Away from that, this post really grabbed my attention and was very well written.

  2. First off this image captured my attention immediately, and was not boring at all. I think that this is a very strong image with a strong message. It dives right into the issue of hunger in Africa rather then beating around the bush. The image obviously exaggerates the starvation, but exaggeration is always needed when trying to fight make a point for a good cause. You did a good job defining the young African boy, and what he was dong in the cow’s rear. You also made it clear that it was the last resort for him, and he didn’t have any other options from the looks of it. One thing you could have described more would be the filth all over the boy, and why did he appear naked?

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