Many in the developing world rely on crude indoor cookstoves for heat and food preparation. The incidence of childhood pneumonia and early mortality in these regions points to the public health threat of these cultural institutions, but as Gautam Yadama and Mark Katzman show, simply replacing the stoves may not be the simple solution that many presume. In Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion, they examine the difficult issues at play and the following slideshow extracts some of their photographic and scientific discourse on cookstove use in rural India shines a beautiful light on this underrepresented social and public health issue.
Gautam N. Yadama is the author and Mark Katzman the photographer of Fires, Fuel, and the Fate of 3 Billion: The State of the Energy Impoverished. Gautam N. Yadama, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, and a Faculty Scholar in Washington University’s Institute of Public Health. His research transcends disciplinary boundaries to better understand and address complex energy, environment, health, and sustainability problems central to social wellbeing of the poor. Mark Katzman has traveled the globe as a distinguished commercial photographer, on assignments from such publications as Time, Newsweek, Audubon, Backpacker, Food and Wine, Forbes, and Fortune, and international companies. Named one of the 200 Best Advertising Photographers in the World in 2012 by Luerzer’s Archive, Katzman is considered an international expert on the photogravure process.