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Photo Essay: What Meals Below the Poverty Line Look Like Around the World

If you live below the poverty line, just how many dry noodles can you buy in Kuala Lumpur? How many gingerbread cookies in Australia? Fish in Hong Kong? Steak in New York? What does your day look like, in food? Photographer Stefen Chow and economist Lin Hui-Yi have traveled all over the world answering that question, calculating the figure, purchasing edibles and photographing the loot against the background of a local newspaper. The result? Spotted by American Photo, The Poverty Line is an attention-grabbing visual representation of the world — sometimes appetizing, sometimes exotic, sometimes truly devastating. “We wanted to explore the question that we initially had: ‘What does it mean to be poor?,'” Chow recently explained to The Picture Show. “We hope that this body of work can create conversation, understanding, and even spark constructive action among people who have seen it and feel moved by it.” Explore the store in our gallery below and check out the project site to learn more.


Beijing, China. 3.28 Yuan. 0.49 USD. Photo by Stefen Chow.

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