Guatemalan Child with Basket

Guatemalan child w basket_tif480
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4 Essays

  1. Nail Farkhatdinov | State University-Higher School of Economics, Moscow says:

    The role of colors in culture is rather specific. On the one hand, people do not think much about colors in their everyday life. On the other hand, they pay great attention to them when choosing such goods as clothes and home furnishings. When a stranger visits an alien culture s/he understands that his/her color perception is rather different from the perception of those native to the culture. Natives pay attention to some colors and ignore others. Color perception becomes a part of tradition. These photos depict the variety of colors used by Guatemalans.

    Putting these photos together we can notice that sets of colors used in decorating clothes, buses, and buildings are rather similar, with the palettes of colors being extremely varied.. There are enormous gradations of red, blue, yellow on the clothes, the buildings, and to a lesser extent, the buses.

    These photos illustrate a link between traditional culture and globalization of cultures. We can see people in traditional clothes, but a similar color spectrum decorates the buses. Although vehicles are artifacts of modern civilization, the traditions of the Guatemalans transform them and they are assimilated in the structure of traditions. Buses decorated in this way, far from arousing discomfort in traditional people, become a part of their national culture thanks to this transformation.

  2. David S. Gochman | Professor Emeritus, University of Louisville and Director, Health Behavior Systems says:

    The photographs of persons using "animate" as opposed to "mechanical" power and energy are striking. Examples are the images of the French bicycle cart in “modern” France, a developed country; and the African boatman; the clothes lines in Venice – again in "modern "Italy; the Guatemalan communal laundry and clothesline images; the Chinese man pulling a cart; the Chinese woman carrying water buckets; the Guatemalan child carrying goods on her head; the Cuban man plowing.

    Persons living in the “developed”/ industrialized world are so often caught up in Western / Eurocentric culture and technology that they take for granted that machines will take care of most of their tasks; they need to be reminded that so much of the world uses human or other animate sources of power to accomplish the tasks of everyday living.

    Ms. Tanur's poignant images convey this message most strongly.

  3. Daniel Levin, Ph.D. | Clinical Psychologist, St. Louis says:

    This powerful and highly evocative image, a child at work in adult dress wearing an adult expression, vividly captures the fate of millions of children in the third world. Forced into early labor, children are left with no choice but to sacrifice their childhoods, their freedom, their joy, their play, their true selves in order to survive.

    But the sacrifice and employment of children is not just a developing world problem. Child abuse and neglect remain highly prominent in the first world. While we may not send our children to work in America and Europe, we have our own ways of stealing childhood from our children, of demanding that they sacrifice their needs to ours. While our children may not carry baskets on their heads, too many of our children, both rich and poor, carry inside them deep sorrow and crushing psychological burdens from parents that have been cruel, absent, ignorant, overwhelmed.

    This beautiful photograph tells a profound and painful truth about children the world over, daring us to see.

  4. Melissa Neo says:

    I choose to analyze this photo. As I was browsing through the category of kids and family, I came across this little girl. Her body posture and facial expression caught my eye. This visual image by Rachel is to put to work to perform social identities and relationships. I realize how short the description is for each photo, “photographs are as important as the text in conveying the meaning of the photo-essay. But as W.J.T.Mitchell makes clear, the relation between text and photographs can take different forms, and it is that form that requires careful consideration.”(Rose, 342). Rachel gave the audience the space to connect with the photos and comment about it with their feelings and understanding.
    The big contrast of this photo is the color of the girl’s cloth compared with the ground. It is specific that the color of the girl’s outfit and a bunch of colorful cloth in the basket on the top of her head that symbolize her culture, in Guatemala female wear a traditional dress with bold colors.“Pictures are valuable because they encode an enormous amount of information in a single representation.’ Photos are a valuable tool for the way they convey ‘real, flesh and blood-life’, according to Howard Becker (2002).” As we can see the bold colors of the girls dress is red, blue and yellow. It shows at a young age this girl is wearing her traditional clothes. and that at this age she is working out there on the street, trying to make a living.
    From a social lense, what I got from this picture is that this little girl is in child labor and equality for education. Her adult-like expression is very evoking, fierce and tough. For a girl at her age, she should be smiling and having fun in the sun. Instead of that, this child is forced into early labor with no choice. “Child labor: all forms of work performed by children under the age laid down in ILO standards for that kind of work” (International Labour Office). Child labor is harmful to their physical and mental development. In their society, it may be common to put a child in that situation but not for other society for example, in some country it is illegal for children at a certain age to work. We have to understand the condition of that society. The environment that shapes the society in Guatemala. The effect of this image to me is the pain and struggle of this little girl to earn a living. It shows the struggle in that society. It breaks the social norm that children should live like a child.

    Rose, Gillian. Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. London, Sage, 2016.
    International Labour Organization (ILO), 1996-2018,
    http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/who-we-are/international-labour-office/lang--en/index.htm