The Other Hundred

The Other Hundred

15 October, 2013
Photo book launch
Challenging what prosperity really is
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Last Thursday, amid the grandeur and (unsubtle) opulence of Hong Kong’s Pacific Place shopping mall, an incredibly unique photo-book project was publicly launched, drawing crowds of photographers, philanthropists, adventurers, entrepreneurs and the plain curious. The Other Hundred project presents a powerful alternative to the  ‘’rich lists’’ generated by Forbes and other media, instead telling the stories of people around the world who are not rich but who deserve to be.
 
Pan-Asian think tank ‘Global Institute For Tomorrow’ is the driving force behind the project, which has culminated in a book portraying 100 photo-stories that move beyond the ‘’success’’ clichés that fill so much of the world’s media to explore the lives of people whose aspirations and achievements are at least as noteworthy as any member of the world’s richest 1,000.
 
Selected from 11,000 images shot in 158 countries and submitted by nearly 1,500 photographers, The Other Hundred celebrates those who will never find themselves on the world’s rich lists or celebrity websites.
 
‘’We wanted to demonstrate what success should look like, what prosperity should look like- this isn’t an anti-rich display by any means,’’ said Chandran Nair, Founder and CEO of the Global Institute For Tomorrow.
“The book is designed to challenge our perceptions of what prosperity really is.’’
 
In the book is the empowering story of 18-year-old Liberian woman Mercy Womeh, who was robbed of an education due to the Liberian civil war and is now paying for her schooling with money earned by crushing rocks. For each bucket she fills with the rocks, she earns 35 Liberian dollars – about US$0.50. On a good day she fills seven buckets.
 
Then we meet 82-year-old Chilean human rights activist María Pinda Peye, who has spent the better part of her life campaigning for human rights, especially those of her own people, Chile’s Mapuche indigenous minority. Maria’s husband died young, leaving her to raise five children at her home in Cerro Navia. With two of those children dying of illness and discrimination against Chile’s indigenous widespread, life was a struggle. Her response was to become an activist. In the 1970s and 80s, she campaigned for both human and Mapuche rights, organising hunger strikes to protest the disappearance of the thousands of Chileans during the right-wing military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. 
After democracy returned to Chile in 1990, María was appointed to a presidential committee responsible for raising the political and social standing of the Mapuche and other indigenous peoples. In 2003, the United Nations named her a Messenger of Peace. Today, in her 80s, she continues to push for social and political change.
 
Maria is rich in every sense of the word.
 
The Other Hundred also features the story of Delroy Anderson, a professional Jamaican artist. Having struggled to keep a roof over his head after being released from prison, he found himself drawn to street art after reading a brochure advertising a learn-how-to-paint course. Delroy borrowed the course fees from friends and family, and ten years on has established a happy, healthy and fulfilling lifestyle. Delroy says though he hasn’t struck gold, his work brings him peace and fulfillment, and he likes working outside – it allows him to feel the energy of life.
 
“We received thousands of submissions from photographers of beautiful photos…. But we didn’t want beauty. We wanted people’s stories,’’ Mr Nair said.
“We don’t want this to just become another coffee table book with pretty pictures.’’
 
The book doesn’t focus on the poor – or starving – or victimized – rather, it focuses on those ‘’ordinary’’ men and women who achieve the extraordinary.
 
Where to buy The Other Hundred// The Other Hundred is available to buy on Amazon.com NOW for a discounted US$29.62 (normally costs US$40). All proceeds will go to GIFT (Give It Forward Today)

By: Lauren Cameron
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