Today’s post topic is a slight departure from the norm around here. Never the less, I find Gabriele Galimberti’s work, Toy Stories, completely fascinating, and therefore blog-worthy.
Toy Stories is the result of Galimberti’s efforts to capture children around the world showcasing their most prized possessions. His artist statement reveals that Galimberti spent two years traveling to more than fifty countries.
“From Texas to India, Malawi to China, Iceland, Morocco, and Fiji, I recorded the spontaneous and natural joy that unites kids despite their diverse backgrounds.” He writes. “Whether the child owns a veritable fleet of miniature cars or a single stuffed monkey, the pride that they have is moving, funny, and thought provoking.”
The project is indeed thought-provoking; the vastly differing geographical locations and socio-economic backgrounds of the children are illustrated by means of material possessions. And those possessions, few or many, musical instruments or dolls, speak volumes about gender roles, social class, and parental influence.
Beyond the images, they reveal much, too, about entitlement versus gratitude.
“The fewer toys a child had, the less possessive he or she was about them,” writes Ben Machell in the introduction to the Toy Stories book. “Galimberti describes having to spend several hours winning the trust of Western children before they would consent to let him touch their planes, cars, or dolls.”
In contrast, says Galimberti, “in poor countries, they don’t care as much. They play in a different way, sharing one ball between them.”
I’d love to know what you think about Galimberti’s project…