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This is a very thoughtful post on the dangers of careless and overly simplistic photojournalism. An amateur photographer myself, it is a good reminder to think carefully about the way in which we interact with our subjects, what story we are telling, and whom we are telling it for.

Africa is a Country (Old Site)

In 1995 Dorling Kinderlsey published a book, Children Just Like Us, sponsored by UNICEF, which brought pictures of children from “all over the world” into its pages, complete with facts and apparently direct quotations from the children (who all seem to speak perfect English). The book feels friendly, ecumenical: children certainly have some funny habits and names, but underneath, of course, they are all alike!  What effects do these kind of books, which make faraway places and different cultures specularly available to middle-class children, have on the young minds who read them. Do they inform a harmlessly cosmopolitan, global outlook? Or ambitions to travel, to see and know the world as benevolently different as it was promised? Is there another perspective hidden within, which involves a dangerous sense of moral and intellectual superiority? The cause of these thoughts are a photo-series of children with their toys, by an Italian…

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2 thoughts on “

  1. Am an African particulary from Malawi your posts its reaaly true that s what many African children are going through,you did the very recommended job by informing the world in what Africa culture is all about but am encourage you to visit in Malawi as when oppurtunity arises we have also similar challenges as well,good work.

  2. Hi Monkey – sorry it has taken so long to respond. We’ve been busy. This is a very interesting and enlightening article. The picture is terribly sad. It’s so staged….and it’s depressing to observe an innocent child being so manipulated.

    Thanks for sharing this viewpoint.

    Love you.

    Mom

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