Plastic bag helmets

April 23, 2008

One day I would love to do a photography exhibition of some of my Cambodia photos. An amazing theme would be “Little Girls” – I have some great single portrait shots of little girls in Prek Tual (this one being one of them).

There is a certain bittersweetness about this picture. I still don’t know whether to feel happy or sad that she derives joy from a plastic bag helmet. There was something about the purity of her joy and the tragedy that the source of that joy being a plastic bag. But she was happy and who am I to judge that?

I spent a fair bit of time playing with her and friends. They didn’t join the rest of the kids because they lived just next to the dumpsite and were clearly dirtier and poorer than the others. Mind you, the other kids were pretty damn poor too. It was interesting to me that even at that low level of income, there is still discrimination. I remember reading somewhere that the 2 things that street kids want most of all is to be clean and to have nice clothes so they look like other kids. Wow. How sobering. But they seemed oblivious to the obvious income inequality and they giggled, danced and played happily with plastic bags.

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