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A Legacy of Suffering

Amiran White | India

"We have no choice but to use the groundwater," says Famidia as she gives her son, Faizan, a bath, "we didn't know when we moved that it was contaminated."

In December 2009, the Center for Science and Environment in Delhi, released a report acknowledging what those living in the shadow of the old Union Carbide pesticide factory already know- their water and soil is highly contaminated. Extreme levels of pesticides and hard metals like mercury and lead are being recorded in the aquifers as far away as 3kms from the plant, leading to the chronic poisoning of thousands of residents living in the bustling neighborhoods around the factory.
It has been 25-years since 40,000 tons of methyl isocyanate (MIC) escaped from the factory in Bhopal killing thousands of people, and it has been 25-years that the local residents have been asking for the factory to be cleaned up and decontaminated. Neither the Indian government who own the land, nor DOW Chemical, who now own the factory, have taken on the responsibility and new generations, including families who weren't in the area during the gas-explosion, are being born with disabilities and chronic ailments directly attributed to the water and soil around them.

 I was born and raised in England, but began my photojournalism career in Portland, Oregon stringing for The Associated Press. From there, I spent 10 years working as a staff photographer for daily newspapers in Oregon, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. 
Since then, I’ve traveled through Central America, India and Europe as an independent documentary photographer, discovered how tricky the market is for documentary photographers and am currently based in Portland, Oregon.


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