There is only one child in the world
and the child’s name is All Children.
Standing on the side of the road to Jericho a small child with his camel waits for tourists to stop and give him a few coins for a ride. In other parts of the world the camel is gone and a lemonade stand takes its place.
In Siaya, Kenya children kick a ball made of trash and tape, playing soccer with World Cup enthusiasm. Little girls dress as princesses in Africa and France and best friends walk down a dusty path in Bangladesh, proud of their pretty dresses.
I document the ravages of illness, hunger and poverty, creating the stark images afforded those issues. But there are always children, and in the midst of oppressive forces the children are undaunted. Their spirit lifts them, and in turn me, above the tumult that surrounds us.
In every corner of the earth there are children, unfettered by the politic of adulthood, making the same discoveries of wonder and amazement and offering up their dreams in a smile. Illness and sadness also affect them, but lacking guile and intrigue they live without irony, expecting the best of the world.
Somewhere along the line it changes: Cultural demands intrude and barriers are erected, but for a moment in time the joy and innocence of youth shines the same through each child.
It is a moment that gives us all hope.
Photographs: A boy and his camel on the road to Jericho in the West Bank; young princesses in Kenya and France; young girls in Bangladesh; and boys in Siaya, Kenya give a thumbs up after a makeshift game of soccer.