(Files from El Espectadors archives, photographed by James Mollison)
#1: Pablo and his wife, Victoria Henao
“He began stealing tombstones, then he became a car thief, then an assassin, then a smuggler and then a drug smuggler, then he became a representative of the chamber – a politician …the worst of all.” (El Chino, Pablo’s friend)
#2: One of the 11,000 confiscated guns held by Medellin police
“We offered prices. US$2,500 for a dead policeman, and up to $250,000 for a general. Pablo Escobar gave the order to hand out the guns that were hidden in the comunas. We gave out mini-Uzis, mini-Atlantas, R-165 rifles, .556s, and Barreta pistols. They gave out more than 2,500 guns. Pablo Escobar always thought big.” (Popeye, Pablo’s hit man)
#1: These six women receive food rations at a center for excombatants in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. All were members of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). Many of the 97 women at the center were physically assaulted during the conflict and over 70 percent of them have children from war-related rape. All six women are now training to be hairdressers.
#2: “When it happened, I wanted them to kill me. Now, I want justice.” (Mustapha, 49, Grafton Settlement Camp, Sierra Leone)
“In 2002 Benetton commissioned me to photograph some of the 17 million people that the World Food Program (WFP) feeds. The images from the famine in Ethiopia in the early 80’s had a big affect on me while growing up, but since then I have felt somewhat desensitized to images of poverty- their worlds seem so far away from ours in the west. I decided to take my mobile studio- and take away the exotic backdrops and present them as people. I became interested in how the WFP uses food as a tool to get people to change their lives, a kind of bribery for social change.” (James Mollison)
#1: Lamine, 12, lives in Senegal. He is a pupil at the village Koranic school, where no girls are allowed. He shares a room with several other boys. The beds are basic, some supported by bricks for legs. At six every morning, the boys begin work on the school farm where they learn how to dig, harvest maize, and plow the fields using donkeys. In the afternoon, they study the Koran. In his free time, Lamine likes to play football with his friends.
#2: Indira, seven, lives with her parents, brother, and sister near Kathmandu in Nepal. Her house has only one room, with one bed, and one mattress. At bedtime, the children share the mattress on the floor. Indira has worked at the local granite quarry since she was three. The family is very poor so everyone has to work. There are 150 other children working at the quarry. Indira works six hours a day and then helps her mother with household chores. She also attends school, a 30-minute walk away. Her favorite food is noodles. She would like to be a dancer when she grows up.
“Where Children Sleep- stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms. When Fabrica asked me to come up with an idea for engaging with children’s rights, I found myself thinking about my bedroom: how significant it was during my childhood, and how it reflected what I had and who I was. It occurred to me that a way to address some of the complex situations and social issues affecting children would be to look at the bedrooms of children in all kinds of different circumstances. From the start, I didn’t want it just to be about ‘needy children’ in the developing world, but rather something more inclusive, about children from all types of situations. It seemed to make sense to photograph the children themselves, too, but separately from their bedrooms, using a neutral background. My thinking was that the bedroom pictures would be inscribed with the children’s material and cultural circumstances ’ the details that inevitably mark people apart from each other ’ while the children themselves would appear in the set of portraits as individuals, as equals ’ just as children.” (James Mollison)
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