Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Pictures On My Wall (2)

This little girl and her baby brother were encountered on the dusty streets of a Berber village in the Atlas mountains of Morocco. I was there on a walking holiday - enjoying the exotic life and scenery, snapping away merrily with my camera. But during my time there I became aware of the honesty, kindness and humanity which survived despite the harsh conditions and overwhelming poverty.

Back home I sorted through my boxes of slides and despite some rather dodgy focus and a little underexposure the picture of these two children seemed to haunt me. Some time during the next few weeks I took out a sketchpad and made the pencil drawing above. I can see the pride and stoicism of this young girl carrying her little brother - though I'm not sure if it's really there in the picture or just in my head.

I considered going back to the Atlas Mountains but I also semed to see more and more needy youngsters on the affluent streets of England. Somehow I ended up looking after children with cerebral palsy. This picture has been with me ever since.

Take care.


  1. I didn't know you could sketch like that. It's arresting, John--especially her eyes.

    And you play a squeezebox! I love those things. See, the things you don't know about someone and find out when they blog.

  2. Thanks Sue
    Sketching was something I did when I was younger, but somehow don't find much time for any more. Keep reading the blog to find out more - like what "Staroose and Hanglands" means - and it's nothing to do with computer games.

  3. I work with children that have "behavior issues". I work with them because I see the child I was as well in them! :) I love these little guys. They are survivors and use any technique available to them to get through the moment. I'm glad the affluent streets of England have someone who is aware of the currents that lay under the day to day lives. You seem to be seeing that and are also aware of the need/beauty that's alive and happening. I feel you captured her determination very well.

  4. Mmmmmm, I certainly had a behaviour issue or two. Probably I still have!

  5. A lovely portrait of the two children and yes the stoicism of the girl does come through. I have found that no matter where one travels, if one can spend some time with the locals you begin to see that wealth is not a necessity of joy. good post -- barbara
    PS - I just read yesterday that there are 22.000 homeless children in New York City -- atrocious in a so called wealthy city as New York.


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