Poonam, 8, is refreshing under the late monsoon rain in the impoverished Oriya Basti colony in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, near the former Union Carbide (now DOW Chemicals) industrial complex. When the heavy monsoon rain falls every year, it seeps through the buried waste of UC, before proceeding to fill up and pollute the area’s underground reservoirs.
Alex Masi is an Italian documentary photographer and multimedia journalist based in London. His first-ever book “Bhopal Second Distaster” is a witness to the aftermath of the 1984 gas leak, widely thought to be one of the word’s most severe chemical disasters. The book is the stunning and heartbreaking product of the 2012 FotoEvidence Book Award, with an introduction by writer Indra Sinh, full-page color images, and an interview in the back by Svetlana Bachevanova, photographer and publisher at FotoEvidence. The images show the complex reality of lives affected by acute tragedy. “In Bhopal, once I began visiting disabled children, to see the way they and their families lived, it led to looking at how others were coping. I also wanted to show that there was life behind disaster.