Today is Africa Day and my post is quite different from what I would normally upload. When I think back to my experiences with this group of children, tears well up in my eyes. None of them go to school, there is no money. They spend their days playing on the beach, looking for 'handouts' while their mothers struggle to make money by cooking small fish and selling them.
The first Africa (Freedom) Day was celebrated in Ghana in 1958. The significance of the Day was to reflect the aspirations of people to break free from the chains of colonial bondage by dint of a collective will. Also, it was meant to help raise political awareness around the world about the state of affairs in Africa and the self-determination of its people.
A little over fifty years ago, and with the possible exception of Ethiopia and Liberia, the entire continent was colonial territory in which the peoples were subjected to indignities and killings administered by foreign powers ironically claiming to be democratic and civilised. Assimilation, colour bar and apartheid epitomised some of the monstrous evils of colonial rule in Africa.
Africa has won its freedom from colonialism but has Africa won 'true' freedom? Poverty, war, famine, corruption, inequalities, nepotism and abuse of women and children are rife.
As Africa Day is celebrated across the continent I hope its leaders spare some time for sober reflection.
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2012. All rights reserved.
Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited.
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Critiques | Translate
YNO (0) 2012-05-25 1:20
guzel fotograf,notunuz icinde tesekur.
timecapturer (48086) 2012-05-25 2:46
what a wonderful shot to celebrate Africa Day. Such a lot of expressive emotion and joy here and all captured in your inimitable style and accomplished technique. A delight!
Have a great weekend - Brian.
chanteuse (210) 2012-05-25 3:30
Thank you, Rosemary, for the insightful note. It's easy to get sentimental about photos with cute kids but this capture portrays so many different attitudes and moods. Their hands, the relationship to their eyes, the little one peeking from behind his mom...but most of all the sadness in the foreground. What game were they playing? Is getting to know them part of your job or a serendipitous thing that comes and goes?
A few countries are making progress but most remain mired in the distress you describe.
Sergiom (58770) 2012-05-25 4:25
J'aime beaucoup cette image vivante et débordante d'énergie. Mais c'est surtout le regard du petit à l'avant plan qui m'accroche. Quelle détermination.
bayno (18342) 2012-05-25 13:34
great shot with a contagious joy of expression of these children, except the youngest who looks at you with an expression a little intimidated, I wish these kids luck...escellent quality and nice colors and light...
have a nice WE...
marcan44 (6223) 2012-05-25 13:43
grande ammirazione per il tuo impegno con questi bimbi africani e sopratutto per la tua denuncia sulla situazione dell'Africa ancora piena di interrogativi preoccupanti dopo la liberazione dal colonialismo.
Come si fa a non sperare che tutto cambi in meglio per questi bambini?
Have a nice day
williewhistler (13761) 2012-05-25 14:03
Hello Rosemary,those happy smiling faces of the children belie the hardships that they have to endure,so many broken promises by the West...I`m afraid their outlook remains bleak.
A fine piece of photojournalism.
Best regards Les.
tyro (20050) 2012-05-25 18:35
I think that this might be one occasion in which, for me, the note surpasses the photograph albeit that this photograph is a wonderful one.
Perhaps we should remember that the human race was created by God (whosoever that God night be to you) in northeast Africa and he created Man black so you and I, as white people, are mutants.
The trouble is that the reason that human beings have been so successful in dominating the World is that they are an inherently aggressive animal with an unpleasant cunning that surpasses that of any "wild" animal as well as a desire to attack and destroy other members of their very own species - which would logically have been felt to be a most undesirable feature from the evolutionary point of view. What other animals behave in this bizzarre way? Chimpanzees, I suppose, and they are, unfortunately, the apes who most resemble us.
Is this why human beings have developed religion and have Gods? Or have we "invented" Gods? Are we ashamed of our innate evil desires and aggressions? Is our God our conscience?
So many questions that I, certainly, cannot answer.
But, to your picture! An amazingly happy scene with lots of bright happy faces, lovely colours and exqusite sharpness, as always. A lovely photograph!
P.S. Sorry to have waxed a bit too philosphical - I do tend to become a trifle maudlin after a couple of glasses of wine but I still stand by what I've said above!
jjcordier (75684) 2012-05-25 22:11
Ces enfants joyeux sont une belle illustration de ce jour de l'Afrique et un beau signe d'espoir dans la future vitalité de ce continent...si les dirigeants des pays le souhaitent vraiment!
ybx (251) 2012-05-26 0:30
i agree 100% with what you write. The colonial era is gone, or maybe it's just disguised in other forms? It is no secret that corporations and weapons merchant continue their business (often illegal) in Africa, almost always to the detriment of the local population. Even this is colonialism, in the past been made by the governments of the dominant states, now by the multinationals.
The picture is very beautiful, inspires mixed feelings, from joy, to sadness.
Have a nice weekend
papagolf21 (85498) 2012-05-26 1:31
Bonjour, chère Rosemary,
Il y a de l'ambiance à travers cette image. Chacun veut participer. Même le tout petit dans les bras de sa mère souhaite voir ce qui se passe et participer à cette réunion.
Une image bien construite et intéressante à tous points de vue.
dkmurphys (48484) 2012-05-26 4:17
Very beautiful capture. The joy of life, the same in every corner of this world. Well taken, have a nice weekend.
jlbrthnn (76037) 2012-05-26 5:00
Your note is interesting, the picture illustrates this. Children happy and carefree are pleasantly photographed. Excellent quality of light, color and sharpness. Bravo.
Have a nice day
Gerrit (47564) 2012-05-26 6:26
Good day to bring to our attention.
It seems not all of your models here can bring up the spirit to look joyful either.
The little girl with her mummy t-shirt and the big (blue?) eyes is the one that attracts the most of the attention.
bukitgolfb301 (35462) 2012-05-26 14:01
Sorry for my late reaction.
So wonderful, so heartwarming lovely shot.
Your postinh makes light on the African's future.
many thanks and best regards, Takero
delpeoples (53001) 2012-05-29 5:06
Hello dear Rosemary
What a wonderful photo, so full of fun and joy. A beautiful way to celebrate Africa Day, because that's what it's all about. I love each and every one of those different little faces, and just want to hug them. Their obvious poverty does not seem to dampen their joy and wonderment. Congratulations on another beauty. I've made a decision to leave TE, but really want to thank you for your friendship here and your advice on photography. Despite the fact that the Admin have failed us all pretty badly, the members have really made this a special place and a great place to learn. I'll really miss it. But hope to see you in other places.
Nicou (120504) 2012-05-31 5:25
superbe compo et iamge quelle belle scène tous ce jeunes pleine de vie et de joie ton iamge usperbe captage et compo.
bravo et amitié
patdeph (35748) 2012-06-01 13:51
a picture full of joy and dynamism,with magnificent colors, and where I particularly like the little boy of the left, in front of the others.Excellent!
ckuhn55 (2670) 2012-10-13 5:42
Powerful photography from your part of the World. I enjoyed your gallery of pictures and especially your notes. I look forward to more and hopefully I will visit your part of the world in 2013.