Toys

I was flipping through the internet this morning, I had found a photo and I wanted to see where it was from originally, I was sure there must be story behind it. It turned out that the image, from Feature Shoot, came from  Gabriele Galimberti’s project Toy Stories which documents children from around the world with their toys. The images made me stop – they are both playful and heartbreaking, and it’s impossible to ignore the differnt circumstances the kids are growing up in. Galimberti says “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.”

Over summer I went travelling. I spent a couple of nights in Dubai in a posh, flashy hotel – the kind where the pool attendent puts your towel on your day lounge for you and you want to steal all the toiletries. From Dubai we flew to Kenya and stayed in a local hotel on the outskirts of Nairobi. This hotel was totally different, the rooms were bare except for the beds and the mosquito nets, and the showers sort-of-worked-if-you-were-lucky. But it was spotless and it had a calm, cared for feeling. We sat in the courtyard outside our room with a couple of the miniature bottles of wine the steward on the plane had given us (he wanted us to enjoy our holiday), the courtyard was overhung with flowers and we could hear a soccer game in progress somewhere nearby. The light was golden thought the dust.

It made me think that sometimes the value of something doesn’t come from the flash and the money and the facade (not that the Dubai hotel wasn’t lovely), but from care and pride and appreciation – that monetary value sometimes has very little to do with the real value of a thing.

For me, these images tell the same story. That whatever we have, it’s only valuable if we appreciate it.

That and that all kids are really cute.

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