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The first image that pops into my mind is the work of Sebastio Salgado. A photographer that takes pictures all over the world in detailing what it means to be human, I think several of Salgado's works can bring home the idea of "scarcity." His portrait of "Refugees in the Korem Camp" and "Children's Ward in the Korem Camp" both go very far in showing scarcity on both physical and emotional levels. In both pictures, Salgado does a great job in bringing home that scarcity is a condition that impacts the human being on both levels. To lack basic fundamentals of life is a condition that drives at who we are as people in that so little is asked out of consciousness that to be denies such essentials as food and water causes us to reduce our own perception of self. Such hollowness is evident in both pictures as a physical and emotional depiction of scarcity. Salgado's works reflect such a condition and might be something for you to examine in his other pictures. The second link below helps to bring out background on what Salgado does, as it is a narrative of him filming the deforestation of the rain forests in his native Brazil, another depiction of scarcity.
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