Where the seconds melt into minutes, and the minutes into hours, where conversations flow, where bonds are made, where friendships and money are made and lost… the village card game.
“art is life, life is art” R. Armin
I dream of a world where blue overwhelms the red. I dream of times when all will cease to compete for self gain. I dream of a place free of war, hate and anger. I dream in blue.
For these children their alley will soon become a distant memory…
We often go back to the places where we grew up and most of us find ourselves surprised at how much smaller they look, how much our imagination added to them over the years, how developed they look or how abandoned. For the children of Kashgar, they will come back to find nothing of the old. The city is under demolition and their homes will soon be gone with no trace of them ever having existed. I feel so lucky to have been one of the photographers who captured a slice of this beautiful old culture before it gets forced to metamorphose completely into something else, somewhere else.
photo taken: children playing in an old Kashgar city alley~ Xinjiang
To play where only earth, air, water and fire are your toys, to be chased by the wind, to chase the butterflies, to be tickled by the rays of the sun, and to become best friends with the planet you live on…
There could be no playground more ideal, and there could be no life more connected.
Photo taken: Kyrgyz bedouin children playing at the shores of lake Karakol
There is a magical thing about children, which is the ability to use anything around them for creating a unique playground. I remember playing near our house in a Lebanese village jumping down a terraced field from one level to another hoping that no bones were broken, and making glue from tree sap and flower milk, and creating a small world from moss, stones and twigs. It is no different in Cambodia. I saw children creating games that fit their environment and adapting to make the most of what is available to them. The children I saw in the floating village had not heard of ipads or nintendo yet, and their fun appears to be just as great if not greater than our children’s in the west.
photo taken: boy running back on forth between the stilt raised structures in the Tonle Sap floating village
It was a Sunday morning in Goma and we had spent the early morning in the medical center meeting and photographing refugee children. The children and their parents had nothing but rags on, some had bandages, very tired faces and exhausted smiles.
And then driving back on the black volcanic streets of the city I was startled to see this beautiful girl. She was immaculately styled as she crouched there playing with dry reeds on the ground and waiting for her parents to walk together to church.
The best moments in photography are the ones that just happen when everything comes together without much planning and I love this photograph for just that fact.
Flour, wax, sugar, salt, cotton, milk, talc and a few other unidentified items from around the house… these were the ingredients of Lea and her friend Emma’s experiment on the kitchen floor today. Part of the experiment I discovered later in the freezer and the other a couple of days later under Lea’s bed growing some little alien creatures!
Do you remember the days when you went around collecting things and mixing them up just to see what happens? I wonder if this is how recipes were first created? Take a child, a wild imagination, a keen curiosity and get ready for endless experiments, some very smelly and gross 🙂
It is believed that in ancient Egypt a scribe was assigned to each small child to record their every word till age 12. Childhood was considered the most important stage of formation of a human and a time worth taking note of when the little person was still connected to the world they came from and to its essences. I have been always moved by this idea and had wished that I could offer this service to my child. A full hard drive of (4TB memory) later, I realized that I have been doing this with photos. Lea can trace what she did with almost every day of her life since birth through a photographic archive that is key worded, organized by date, age, and location on the globe. I wish someone had given me this gift as a child as I strive to remember certain important moments of my childhood in vain…
photo taken: Lea, Elli and Anna playing with a dollhouse on the first day of the New Year.
Do you remember being seven years old? Remember when your imagination was endless and when your hopes and dreams were still undefeated by cynicism? Do you recall being so free and believing that life is a canvas where you can draw yourself to be absolutely anything you want to be?