Living in the developed world, it’s hard to forget just how lucky we are compared to millions around the world at this very moment. It is this stark contrast that one Turkish artist hopes to highlight with his startling photoshop images.
It’s difficult to believe that over 3 billion people around the world are currently living on less than $2.50 per day, a number that’s completely inconceivable in the United States. If that isn’t enough to make you open your eyes to how lucky we have it, what about the fact that 1 in 2 children is currently living in poverty. Of those, 1 in 3 don’t have adequate shelter and 1 in 5 have no access to safe drinking water.
It is this startling difference in reality that Ugur Gallen hopes to reveal with his work. Each contains an image that is reminiscent of our modern society in some way as well as a corresponding picture showing the reality of life in a developing nation. These pictures shed a light on the war, violence, poverty, and malnutrition that people around the world face each and every day.
“I’m trying to show the important issues the world is facing, such as social injustice and war, by putting two pictures side-by-side within a single frame. By doing this, I want to demonstrate the contrasts between the two different worlds we live in,” Ugur Gallen explained when asked about his work. “An image can sometimes be more effective than a thousand words. The solution to a crisis can be described by many complicated words, but you don’t need to know a language to read and understand a work of art. Art is the master of all languages. It has been used to raise awareness and call to action for a long time.”
Using Instagram to help reach a global audience, Gallen currently has over 180,000 followers and rising. The comments on each of the individual pictures reveal that his work is doing exactly as he hoped, opening the eyes of people around the world. Followers refer to his pictures as ‘mind-blowing’ and ‘touching’ while others say that they bring them to tears.
Interested in seeing what everyone is talking about? Here is a collection of Ugur Gallen’s work: