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Dutch publisher

The Face of Poverty

Ten Years in the Life of an African Village

Dick Wittenberg & Jan Banning

“The stories are in the Dutch language only” 


No one here wears glasses. No one here has a clock. No one here wipes his bottom with toilet paper. Is this poverty? The outside world confuses poverty with simplicity. They do not need much in this village to live well. They know all too well what harsh poverty is. 


In a style that is as bare as the mud houses he writes about, Dick Wittenberg describes ten years of life in Dickson, a typical village in Malawi, the poorest country in the world. Photographer Jan Banning portrays the villagers indoors, with his usual eye for detail. He did this ten years ago. Now he does it again. The portraits and stories cover the period April 2005 to May 2015. 

The stories are in the Dutch language only.

The Face of Poverty

Ten Years in the Life of an African Village

Dick Wittenberg & Jan Banning


Published: 25 september 2015 (in Dutch)

Design by Peter Jonker
ISBN 978-90-77386-16-3
240 pages


220 x 240 mm

€ 24,95 (ex shippingcosts)

Only available in Dutch

Dick Wittenberg is a journalist and writer. He worked for NRC Handelsblad for nearly thirty years and since 2013 has been writing for De Correspondent. In September 2015, publishing house AtlasContact published his book Prikkeldraad [Barbed Wire]; about the barbed wire that is dividing the world already for one hundred and fifty years. A history of good and evil. 


Jan Banning is a photographer. He has released a large number of books, including Bureaucratics and Comfort Women. His work has been published in many media, including GEO, The New Yorker and Vrij Nederland, and he has won several awards, including a World Press Photo Award. His work is included in collections at the Rijksmuseum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, among others.

From the jury report when awarding the VPRO Bob den Uyl Prize 2008 for 'Binnen is het donker, buiten is het licht' [Inside it is Dark, Outside it is Light] about a year in the life of Dickson. 


"When reading this book, you will occasionally have to stop and catch your breath. Never before has poverty in Africa been portrayed so close and personal."

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