Photographer Henry Hargreaves and food-stylist Caitlin Levin have created the “Power Hungry” project, which consists of photos of typical meals eaten by dictators and common people throughout history.
One can easily agree that dictatorships are bad. Having said that, several countries are still ruled by dictators in 2014 and it looks like the trend will continue.
The lives of dictators has intrigued both Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin, who were curious to find out what dictators put on their tables throughout history.
As their research was advancing, the photographer and the food stylist have discovered a pattern valid for all dictatorships: the rulers were eating rich meals, while the ordinary people had close to nothing on their tables.
The result is called “Power Hungry” and it reveals the stark contrast between the rich and the poor, while showing that dictators have used starvation as a means to keep the masses under control.
Not just “Power Hungry”, but driven to keep people hungry
“Power Hungry” is a series showing the differences between the daily meals of dictators and those of the oppressed people. It has been created by photographer Henry Hargreaves and food-stylist Caitlin Levin.
The creators have also discovered that the inequality between the rich and the poor has existed since the dawn of civilization. “Power Hungry” is also showing the diets of people living in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome or France before the 18th century revolution.
Dictators are often portrayed as people who are hungry for power, but it seems like they are also enjoying a couple of other things. They seem to like really rich meals consisting of different types of meat and cheese, while they seem to be using their power to keep the people hungry.
Henry Hargreaves and Caitlin Levin: ancient dictatorship tactics are still present
Dictatorship regimes “have used food as a weapon”, says Henry in an interview, who has discovered that starvation has been “useful” for the rulers as a means to oppress, silence, and kill their people throughout history.
Henry and Caitlin say that these tactics have not disappeared in the 21st century, as Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has blocked food aid trucks from reaching civilians in the town of Homs, as he fears that the food will get into the hands of the rebels instead of civilians.
These photos are aiming to raise awareness about world hunger, which is affecting hundreds of millions of people. In the US alone, about 40% of all food goes to waste, which could allow more than 25 million people to have a decent daily meal.