“We snuck in on a food convoy. The convoy would travel at night and during the day they’d cover it up because Ethiopian MiGs would blow it up if they saw it.”
It is 1984 when Stan Grossfeld and Boston Globe reporter Colin Nickerson discover the harsh reality of famine and politics in Ethiopia. The country’s drought is in its fourth year. The crop has failed. The livestock are dead. Hundreds of thousands of people abandon their farms and villages and set out, looking for food.
There is little to be found. Some 130,000 tons of food from the United States have been held up by the Ethiopian government, which is determined to starve the rebel-held countryside into submission. Starve the people do — half a million Ethiopians, many of them children so hungry their bodies literally consume themselves. I’ll never forget the sounds of kids dying of starvation. They sound like cats wailing.” For Grossfeld, the experience is overwhelming: “You try to be a technician and look through the viewfinder; sometimes the viewfinder fills up with tears.”
At a feeding station in the Tigray Province, Grossfeld photographs a child licking a flour sack. “I remember that kid,” says Grossfeld. “He might have survived. He was smart enough to lick the sack.” But for others, there is no hope. Grossfeld photographs this starving mother and child waiting in line for food in Wad Sharafin Camp. Hours later, the child is dead. (source)