Funded! This project was successfully funded on December 22, 2011.

Photo-main
Play
00:00
00:00

1.4 billion people live without electricity. This project reveals the impact of global Energy Poverty while questioning energy's future

Summary

At a time of constant debate over the future of energy, it is easy to forget that 1.4 billion people – nearly a quarter of humanity – still live without access to electricity. Through my Life Without Lights photography, I strive to reveal the economic impact of global Energy Poverty while exploring energy’s future.

I began this project while living in rural northern Ghana, where I realized how deeply the lack of electricity affected the lives of my neighbors: It impeded their progress in the sectors of health, education, gender equality, agriculture, and virtually every aspect of development. Since then, I’ve photographed people living in a state of Energy Poverty on top of the vast oil reserves of Kurdistan, and just outside of Albuquerque, the largest city in the US state of New Mexico.

The next two chapters are perhaps the most important to date: on the drastically rising costs of household energy bills in the UK, and the dire effects of Energy Poverty on women’s health in Uganda.

Mission

My goal is not only to publish these stories and create a wider awareness of this issue – I have also been given the rare opportunity to participate in the discussion on solutions to Energy Poverty. 2012 will be the UN’s International Year of Sustainable Energy for All, and I have been invited to exhibit this work at key events throughout the year, including the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil. I will address audiences of policymakers and world leaders, sharing stories from the people I have photographed.

Within the international debate, the most vital voice – the voice of the afflicted – is often missing. Your help in funding this project will allow me to continue collecting stories and voices of Energy Poverty from around the world and contribute them directly to the dialogue on sustainable solutions and energy’s future.

Details on Upcoming Chapters

Britain: Heat or Eat?

As energy prices dramatically rise in the UK, the country is pushed into a level of Fuel Poverty not seen in at least fifteen years. Fuel Poverty is defined as a household paying more than 10% of their income on energy bills. An estimated 7 million homes have recently fallen into this category.

Rather than focus on off-grid communities, this chapter will explore the cost of energy, examining the lives of people who have no choice but to shut off their own utilities in order to avoid mounting debt. Local aid organizations are already alarmed at this increasing trend, and considering the country’s recent economic turmoil, worsening winters, and disappearing pensions, the situation is expected to become drastically worse. Reports estimate that this winter nearly 3,000 people will die cold-related deaths because of this issue. However, this is not a story limited to the very poor – even the middle classes will find themselves cutting their spending to pay their energy bills, often choosing between heating their homes or eating their next meals.

Uganda: Women’s Health Crisis

Women living in Energy Poverty are victim to a health emergency that is both surprising and extreme: Lung disease caused by inhaling the thick smoke of cooking fires is one of the top ten killers worldwide – killing more people than malaria. Cooking indoors, using traditional methods and fuels, causes 1.9 million premature deaths globally each year, predominantly among women and children. In Uganda, 95% of the population cooks with solid fuels, contributing to nearly 42,000 deaths.

To photograph this dire situation, I will immerse myself in the remote Bundibugyo District. In the district’s villages and health centers – which lack electricity – I’ll also investigate other effects of Energy Poverty on women’s lives, ranging from subtle to deadly. For women in labor, deliveries at night are performed by midwives gripping flashlights in their teeth. Other serious procedures cannot be performed in the night at all. The clinics lack refrigeration for critical medications. And, when not performing the deadly act of cooking, women and girls spend countless hours gathering firewood – time that prevents them from receiving an education.

Links

Life Without Lights website: lifewithoutlights.com

Peter DiCampo website: peterdicampo.com

Featured on NYTimes Lens Blog: lens.blogs.nytimes.com/​2010/​07/​15/​showcase-181/​

An Interview About the Project: viistories.com/​the-stories/​life-without-lights.aspx

d.light design S250 solar light and phone charger (reward for $50 and $75 donations): http://www.dlightdesign.com/products_D.LIGHT_S250_global.php

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question
159
Backers
$15,523
pledged of $13,500 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    25 backers

    You'll receive exclusive updates on the project as I photograph.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    33 backers

    You'll receive a personalized thank-you note on a specially printed Life Without Lights postcard + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    36 backers

    You'll receive a solar-powered light & phone charger by d.light design (great for traveling, camping, etc - see photo and link below) + a personalized thank-you note on a specially printed Life Without Lights postcard + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $75 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    You'll receive a solar-powered light & phone charger by d.light design (great for traveling, camping, etc - see photo and link below) + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $100 or more
    You selected

    21 backers

    You'll receive an 8x10" photographic print of your choice from Life Without Lights + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $250 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Your name / company name listed as a project partner on the Life Without Lights website + an 8x10" photographic print of your choice from Life Without Lights + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $350 or more
    You selected

    2 backers

    Your name / company name listed as a project partner on the Life Without Lights website + an 11x14" photographic print of your choice from Life Without Lights + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    Your name / company name listed as a sponsor at UN exhibitions and on the Life Without Lights website + an 11x14" photographic print of your choice from Life Without Lights + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $750 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    Your name / company name listed as a sponsor at UN exhibitions and on the Life Without Lights website + a 20x24" photographic print of your choice from Life Without Lights + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    Your name / company name listed as a sponsor at UN exhibitions and on the Life Without Lights website + a limited edition print from UN exhibitions + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $3,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    Your name / company name listed as a sponsor at UN exhibitions and on the Life Without Lights website + two limited edition prints from UN exhibitions + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $5,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    Your name / company name listed as a Primary Sponsor at UN exhibitions and on the Life Without Lights website + five 20x24" photographic prints from Life Without Lights which we will select together + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    Your name / company name listed as a Primary Sponsor at UN exhibitions and on the Life Without Lights website + ten 20x24" photographic prints from Life Without Lights which we will select together + a series of five specially printed Life Without Lights postcards + exclusive updates on the project.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (52 days)