Photography brings more realism and perspective of the famine experienced in Madras
Photography: Macdonald, Gus. Camera Victorian Eyewitness; A History of Photography: 1826-1913. New York, NY: The Viking Press, 1979. (Photograph taken by: W. W. Hooper. Victims of Madras famine pose in studio style, 1877).
Photography has allowed us to see every form of human suffering. Famine is definetly one of the worst forms of suffering experienced in our world today. Henry Wood, an officer in the Crimea before coming to India where his interest in photography developed in the 1860s. Wood's informal pictures are rich in the detail of everyday life, seemingly mundane at the time, but absorbing today. His scenes from life among the officer class show that in that long golden afternoon of British rule, there was one corner of a foreign field that was, briefly, England. But this privileged life was at times quite surreally distinct from that of the other India. Willoughby Wallace Hooper had done his officer training at Addiscombe in Surrey where two instructors in residence taught photography to cadets. He went on to serve in the Madras Light Cavalry and was occasionally commissioned to take photographs. His most notable and macabre sequence is of the famine in Madras in 1877 when six million Indians died. This photo really gives us an idea of what it must be like to starve, its amazing to see these people still living. I can only imagine how weak these people must have felt.
Macdonald, Gus. Camera Victorian Eyewitness; A History of Photography: 1826-1913. New York, NY: The Viking Press, 1979.
For more Information on the Famine in India visit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famine_in_India