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The language of privilege: Images of global inequality

A new book of photos curated by photo editor Myles Little shines a new light on the growing issues of global inequality. The photos, selected from over 2,000 images by photographers around world, expose glaring gaps in financial inequities that Little describes as sobering and humorous, satirical and tragic. “I didn’t want to make a caricature to argue that all rich people are villains. The issue is more nuanced than that,” Little adds.


1%: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality, published this month by Hatje Cantz, started as a successful travelling exhibit that reached six continents and was in part inspired by previous work by photographer Edward Steichen, who himself tackled the subject of wealth disparity many decades earlier in the groundbreaking exhibit ‘The Family of Man’.


“[Steichen's work] presented this optimistic argument that, regardless of geography, religion or wealth we’re all in the same boat. I think that myth is still very much alive in America."


"I went about building this exhibit with similar categories such as work, leisure and family. But while Steichen's work was huge and varied, I wanted this project to remain focused and consistent, using color photographs that felt posh, beautifully crafted, calm and indirect. I wanted to borrow the language of privilege and use it to critique privilege."


Myles Little is Senior Photo Editor at TIME


Christopher Anderson — Magnum

A street preacher in New York appeals to Wall Street to repent, 2011.


Daniel Shea

Cheshire, Ohio, 2009.


Floto+Warner

Chrysler 300, 2007.


Greg Girard

Shanghai Falling (Fuxing Lu Demolition), 2002.


Guillaume Bonn — INSTITUTE

Maids prepare a room for a guest in a wealthy Kenyan household, 2011.


Guillaume Herbaut — INSTITUTE

Princess Studio, a wedding photo studio in Shanghai. China. Tong (29) posing for her wedding pictures.


Jesse Chehak

Hollywood, California, 2007.


Jörg Brüggemann — Ostkreuz

Refugees arriving on Kos, Greece, 2015.


Yves Marchand and Roain Meffre

Rivoli Theater, Berkeley, CA, 2013. Opened as a movie theater and performance space in 1925, closed in the nineteen-fifties. Subsequently used by various supermarkets.


Michael Light

“Roma Hills” Guard-Gated Homes Looking East; 3,000–8,000 sq feet, Henderson, NV, 2012.


Michael Wolf

Transparent City 75.


Mikhael Subotzky — Magnum

Residents, Vaalkoppies (Beaufort West Rubbish Dump), 2006.


Zed Nelson

Nose job (rhinoplasty) surgery. James, 25, a British driving instructor, has surgery to reduce the size of his nose for cosmetic reasons.


Paolo Woods & Gabriele Galimberti — INSTITUTE

A man floats in the 57th floor swimming pool of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel, with the skyline of the Singapore financial district behind him, 2013.

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