Life Without Lights


Peter DiCampo

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At a time of mounting uncertainty over the future of energy, it is easy to forget that 1.5 billion people - nearly a quarter of humanity - still live without access to electricity. Through Life Without Lights, I strive to reveal the dire economic impact of global Energy Poverty and its causes, effects, and solutions. The project is a look into energy’s past and present in order to contribute to the dialogue on its future.

While living in rural Ghana, I realized how deeply the lack of electricity affected my neighbors. It impeded their progress in health, education, gender equality, agriculture, and every aspect of development. Put simply, Energy Poverty keeps people poor. It is a critical piece in the mosaic of issues contributing to poverty, and often the one least addressed.

Issues of energy access and affordability are hardly limited to the developing world: given the fragile state of global economics and energy’s finite supply, they impact all of us now more than ever.


Peter DiCampo launched his freelance career while also working as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Ghana. His photography has been published by National Geographic, TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times, GEO, Foreign Policy Magazine, and many others. In 2012, Peter was named one of PDN’s 30 Emerging Photographers to Watch and received the Photocrati Fund grant. Other accolades include first prize in The British Journal of Photography 2010 IPA and three grants from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Life Without Lights, Peter’s global project on Energy Poverty, has exhibited in London, New York, Rio de Janeiro, Vienna, Hannover (Germany), and Lagos.

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