According to the UN, walking for hours to fetch clean and fresh drinking water, buy necessary groceries or make an urgent visit to the hospital is often still a constant challenge in rural areas of developing countries. And in most cases, there is a lack of infrastructure that we take for granted.
When it is normal for us to travel to the next village by car or bus, it is usually on paved roads. And this has been the case for decades. Our infrastructure problems are often the lack of broadband cable and annoying construction sites - magically always where we are driving. In Vivian Maier's photo from 1953, everything looks very relaxed. Seen in this light, this could be a reason for us in 2020 to react to traffic jams and traffic chaos with more composure.
Vivian Maier: New York, 1953 © Vivian Maier/Maloof Collection, Courtesy Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York
Raghubir Singh: After an Accident, Grand Trunk Road, Bihar, 1991 © Raghubir Singh
It is still different today in countries like India, Laos or Cambodia. What is already difficult to organize under normal circumstances from our point of view becomes an impossibility during the monsoon season, when rain falls permanently for half a year.
Buses and trucks get stuck in the mud, slide down slopes and sometimes block the road for days. Donkey carriages or trucks, along with their precious cargo, and often with people, are washed away by the floods or remain stranded on the roadside.
So it is a blessing that in Laos, for example, with the help of the UN, paved roads have been built in the most important provinces of Bokeo, Luang Namtha and Oudomxai, which can be driven on reliably all year round.
Shorter distances, a better food supplies, safer routes and significantly lower transportation costs are a great blessing for the people, who thus have access to things even in times of trouble. Things, that we take for granted.
The Indian photographer was born in Jaipur in 1942. He is considered one of the most renowned photographers of his generation. At the age of just 20, he already worked for the New York Times, Life Magazine and National Geographic Magazine, among others. In the 1970s, Singh moved to Paris and in 1974 published the 1st of over 14 books on India. He was a pioneer of color photography, using it when many photographers with artistic demands still relied on black-and-white shots. When Singh died in 1999 at the age of only 56, he left behind an outstanding body of work.
This wonderful photographer was born in New York in 1926. She worked as a nanny in New York and Chicago. Unnoticed by everyone, she photographed everyday scenes of Americans with outstanding brilliance throughout her life. Her portraits of people and especially of herself were discovered by chance only after her death. It soon became clear that this woman, who died largely penniless in 2009, had created one of the most wonderful series of works in American street photography.