The images are part of a worldwide documentary started in 2008 called Life Project. The main project’s goal is to find and document positive initiatives related to access to health and quality of life around the world.
China is highly industrialized and has been modernized over the past years, reducing poverty in the country and improving people’s lifestyle. However, being one of the biggest potencies of the world has its price: China is also one of the most polluted places in the earth due to industries, factories and mines producing all over its land. Across the country, many villages are named cancer villages because more than 50% of deaths are caused by cancer. The pollution is affecting the air, water and land of these towns and, consequently, people’s lives. China’s government tries to restrain information regarding cancer villages to international communities – government agents followed the photographer during his journey.
André François, founder of ImageMagica NGO, has been making photographic documentaries for 30 years. Since 2005 he has been photographing subjects related to health. André has visited more than 100 hospitals and health centers all around Brazil, each with its own reality, to register special actions of great caregivers as well as people searching for access to health. The photographer has five books released: Caring – A documentary about humane medical care in Brazil (2006); The curve and the path – Access to health care in Brazil (2008); Choosing and living – Treatment and quality of life of chronic renal patients (2009); Back home – A documentary about home care in Brazil (2010); Brazilian Health Expeditions (2013). In 2011, André released the book Caring – A documentary about humane medical care in Brazil as an app for iPad. He was the first Brazilian photographer with a photo-documentary available for iPad. In the same year, the photographer started a documentary about inspiring stories of women, called Women of Strength. With the project, André has traveled throughout the five regions of Brazil, discovering touching stories about the overcome and the strength that women have facing their lives. An exhibition and a video documentary were made at the end of the project. Throughout these projects, André François’ images were distributed to health professionals, students, journalists and the results are clear: encouragement of humanization groups inside hospitals, institutions (both national and international), as well as material for health classes, conference presentations and mobilization for new actions and resources. By the end of 2008, the contact with many international organizations such as the UN (United Nations), WHO (World Health Organization), Doctors Without Borders, Red Cross, among others, showed that those issues are not only a Brazilian matter: access to health and humanization are issues that concern WHO as fundamental concepts to think about health promotion in all regions of the world. Therefore, André started his worldwide project called Life Project – A photo-documentary about world health (http://tinyurl.com/lifeprojectsite), a global work which discusses how important promoting health and life quality is by documenting positive initiatives in different countries. Still in development, the project has already documented the Indigenous community of the Yanomami, situated at the North of Brazil; Cambodia, one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia; the Nunavut territory in Canada's far North, where the Inuit community lives; Haiti, after the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010; the neighborhood of Queens in New York with a large concentration of people from all over the world; Japan, after the earthquake and tsunami that destroyed the country in 2011; Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Mozambique, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi), documenting projects related to HIV, malaria, TB, food security and access to water, and China, in order to discuss pollution, agriculture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.