Children’s Bedrooms

I chose an image from the series about children and their bedrooms. There were so many compelling images in this essay, but the one I ended up choosing was Alex from Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  His “bedroom” consists of an old, tattered sofa that appears to be situated outside. It is a grey color and there are tears in it with chunks of bright yellow stuffing poking out. On the bottom of the sofa, the caved-in wooden frame pokes out making the sofa look tired and worn. In the background is a shack-like structure built from weathered wood that looks like the main house, and in the foreground, there is a soiled, blue carpet.  Next to the image of the bedroom, is Alex’s picture.  He is dressed in a salmon colored t-shirt, and he has dirty blonde hair, tanned skin, and hazel eyes.  The composition is following the rule-of-thirds, and seems balanced with a clear foreground, middle ground, and background.

These images fit into the overall scheme of the essay because they are of a boy and his bedroom.  This is an essay on child’s rights, but the author didn’t want the essay to be cliché in the sense that it was only about needy-children in the developing world. He wanted to photograph children from all circumstances, and let their bedrooms describe their culture, and living conditions.  I found this image to stand out for many reasons.  When I think of needy-children I think of the kids you see in those TV commercials from developing areas in Africa.  This boy is different.  He is from Brazil, and seeing him on the streets of Brazil, you might not think anything of him. He looks healthy and tan, not like a child of poverty.  But when his photograph is placed next to that of his bedroom, you see a different story, and that is how the images convey the overall message. The general color scheme of both photos is a grey-ish/tan.  Alex’s hair and eyes seem to match the grey sofa and weathered wood.  This leads to a sense that the boy himself is worn.  He looks about as tired as that old sofa, probably because he is sleeping outside in the elements.  Because the boy is not the typical image of poverty, but his living conditions clearly are, it makes you realize that you can’t judge someone by merely looking at them. As I write this, I realize that this emotion I am feeling is exactly what the author of this was aiming for. I am sad for this boy that he has to sleep on that ridiculously uncomfortable sofa, surrounded by dirt, with the possibility that it could rain while he sleeps. It is shocking, in a sense that his bedroom is outside, and he doesn’t even have a bed. It left me wondering: where does the rest of the family sleep? AND Why is he the only one outside?

-JK

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