In ninth grade, my art teacher introduced us to the 100 People Project. She projected an image from their website, statistics of what the world would look like if there were only 100 people.
They were shocking to my fifteen-year-old self. However, having taken a course on development economics and researched it a bit more now, they are far from shocking, and actually quite optimistic.
If the world were 100 people… (just a sample of the data from 2000)
83 would be able to read and write.
17 would not.
7 would have a college degree.
15 would be undernourished.
48 would live on less than $2USD per day.
1 out of 2 children would live in poverty.
78 would have electricity.
22 would not.
75 would be cell phone users
30 would be active internet users
22 would own or share a computer
Yet the statistics are only the starting point for this project. Their mission does not concern the numbers, but rather the people behind these numbers, the humanity in the data. What would happen if you could meet the faces they represent? What if we could create a world portrait based on these 100 people?
“Our idea is to represent our entire global neighborhood through photographs and stories, creating a multi-media traveling exhibition - the World Portrait.
The nominees span all walks of life—from a gardener in the Philippines who sings to his plants to a traditional healer in Niger bringing medicine to a community to an Australian teacher building a solar car with students.”
The project is geared towards high school students (mostly in international schools I think) and it’s really such a great photography initiative, especially for young children. I love the diversity of stories that these kinds of projects provide us with, bringing the different portraits together and offering a global view of humanity. Some of it is so touching and brings you down to earth.