Guatemalan Egg Seller

Guatemalan egg seller_tif480
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One Essay Response

  1. Nicola Lewis-Dixon says:

    This image taken by Rachel Tanur spoke out to me and showed the contrast between our local markets and traders to that in less developed areas of the world. The lady stands in the shadows of the strong Guatemalan sun, selling her egg’s to passers-by. The sale of her stock is detrimental to the whole family’s wellbeing. It makes you wonder of her home life and if she is able to send her children to school? Or do they loiter in other strategic places around the area, also selling eggs rather than getting an education? Although rules have now been put into place in Guatemala regarding children’s education, it is far from the standards of the UK and child labour is still an issue.

    She looks away so casually and faraway into the distance. It’s easy to believe that she is completely unaware of the cameras gaze, and therefore ours. She has a resigned look similar of Dorothy Lang’s ‘migrant mother’. The main difference here is that there is hope in the image as she might have a good day of trade.  

    The building was built to be grand and now looks shabby and unkempt. The Spanish sign that translates into ‘fast and safe shipments to the whole world’ seems a contradiction to the lady, completely stuck in her position as lower class and possibly from an agricultural background. Carrying her fragile good’s implies the saying ‘walking on eggshells’ and only adds to the unease of the lady’s future and good fortune.  

    Completely lacking the community surroundings of a market set up, this lady is alone and is void of any support and backup. I can’t help but notice that Tanur’s images mainly show hardships and strife, but also determination of family life in other more difficult cultures. With only a brood of chickens an income is created and any left overs can be eaten, creating food on the table in two different ways. 

    Re-discussing the gaze, due to Tanur’s female gender, the image has less of the male gaze element applied being of the same gender. But was Tanur the subject of the male gaze while taking the image? Would a male viewer of the image change the dynamics slightly also, contributing to the ‘male gaze’?

    Unicef 2018
    Ways of seeing/ John Berger1972