this young girl, or child, is quite the contrast as compared to your regular posts, but it gives new depth to your work. It becomes much more difficult to remove yourself from the experience captured in an image with a child, much more diffult to simply pass over and say it’s simply a great photo. http://lordashbury.com
Two interesting viewpoints here, but I can attest that since 1980 to the present, there is still a wide berth between wealth and poverty in Bali. These images, although lovingly portrays the beauty of the people of Bali, continues to demonstrate this.
I don’t know what the heck Albertine is on about …. there are many travel photos that strike me because of the poverty depicted, and Elena just happened to comment on this one. Is Elena expected to comment on all the photos taken in poor countries?
It’s not prejudice to notice a photo taken in a country where poverty is everywhere.
I haven’t been to Bali in a very long time. But one of the many things I do recall is the heartbreaking lack of resources.
This girl I think is dressed neatly. Actually a very cute dress for her age in the world standard, I guess! Girls who have diamonds and pradas, where are they? I’ve never met such girls.
This is my first comment and I felt obligated to make this point. I thank you Albertine for addressing this before I had the opportunity to do so. This photo could have been taken in any city around the world. There are sections of New York that look like this but never has it detracted from its beauty, diversity, creativity, culture and history. We have learned to turn a blind eye to theses particular sections of cities and countries around the world. Scott, thank you for reopening certain individuals eyes again. When I see this photo, I see a beautiful child, in a lovely little dress, who is surrounded by color. What is so sad about that? Also, why or what does she know about Prada and diamonds and what does that have to do with this photo or anything else for that matter. Scott, I appreciate the fact that you bring such beautiful photos of creative individuals, that fuel my appetite of fashion but the occasional shallow and jaded mentality that comes along with it, leaves a lot to be desired. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Take off the blinders people. Reality..
Over here in Europe there is a certain view of America as a country of two distinct halves: one first world and the other third; and we battle with the fear we are going the same way. The film LA Plays Itself is a brilliant depiction of affluence and desperate poverty in one city – I recommend it.
I recall Scott once posted a wonderful shot of a stylish street cleaner in her uniform in New York. No one objected – and why should they?
Style can be a last bastion of dignity in any dire situation, see Scott’s pictures of the Smarteez of South Africa. Why should lack of money – or percieved lack if money – exclude anyone from the joy of style, or the pride of being celebrated for it.
Exactly! I am so over some people looking at pictures developing countries and lamenting at how “poverty is everywhere in *that* country” as though they didn’t have similar issues in their own backyard. Damn frustrating.
No one ever claimed poverty was unique to third world nations – I’d feel the same if Scott featured a photo in any US poverty-stricken area. When I look at a Dorothea Lange print, I feel the poverty first. It’s just that I tend to look beyond the clothes in these types of photographs; fashion and/or style are further down my list of observations, that’s all. I feel the same frustration towards those who see “fashion” or “style” first. At the same time, I’m praising Scott for expanding the horizons of his photo blog – more food for thought.
But Westcoasttiger, this is a style blog.
And I don’t feel frustrated at people who notice poverty first – who says I don’t notice that too. I just don’t like being judged for not discussing it. I give people the dignity and respect to see past their finances, to their humanity and creativity. Dorothea Lange’s job was recording poverty, of course you see that first, she very cleverly designed her images that way. Scott shows style. If you’re not comfortable with that, or with people discussing it then – perhaps you don’t like the idea for some reason, then maybe less time looking at a style blog would leave you less frustrated.
Oh and where my dad grew up he couldn’t get fresh fruit and vegetables, scurvy was a serious danger. But his mum was very stylish and we values that when we look at old pictures. She kept her dignity and her identity despite her circumstances.
Fair enough berenger, however, while I do recognize this is a fashion/style blog first and foremost, I feel some of Scott’s photos go beyond fashion and style and reveal more than just clothing. If it’s Scott’s intention to only record style in his photos, then I’ll stop making my pointed comments if he would let me know, but when I see such powerful photographs I can’t help but read the circumstances beyond fabric – I’m looking at the person. Yes, you’re right, it’s a fashion blog but I feel the recent content I’ve seen has evolved it into something more.
Ok Westcoasttiger. I hope this means the judgemental comments are going to stop now. Live and let live is a good philosophy. And also – it is not possible to separate style from the person, and Scott never has. All his pictures are about people and their stories.
Its sad to not get diamonds and Prada? LOL. Most girls don’t get that. No idea where you grew up, or even if you did grow up, but plenty girls do fine without that. I grew up having to work, and having to buy anything I needed on my own, and haven’t suffered for it. This young lady looks well cared for, tidy, and her outfit is quite pretty. She has the love and care from her parents. Lots of girls in the USA should be so lucky.
I love this, Scott. The colours and atmosphere you’ve captured are fabulous. She does look like an old soul in an ancient setting. And her dress is just stunning, specially on her. There, I said it. Hate me if you like.
Beautiful creature, wonderful capture! Posing details of her head and both hands… flawless. Did Mr. Schuman give her any instructions in order to get such achievement? … :) Nevertheless, an elegant woman’s soul in a humble child’s body.
I’m an Indonesian and used to work with economic development issues and now with media and indirectly with fashion.
So let me contribute to this “poverty” issue. There’s truth in all the points.
I think Scott’s images are beautiful and it conveys beauty despite of the social economic realities of his subjects in Bali. I don’t think Scott fetishes the “exotic” nature of the Balinese subjects at all.
In contrast, these people appear dignified. These pictures are different than to those images of the 1990′s whereby supermodels wearing expensive designer gowns posing around in Haitian ghettos or Brazillian slums. Those pictures were, and still are, problematic and I think this is where some of the criticism is rooted from. Scott’s images, nonetheless, in my view, are different.
So, are those people “poor”?
This is a problematic word as it is both subjective yet it does have (some) quantitative implication.
In comparison to the average Americans or Western Europeans, there’s no denying that the Balinese, and most of my fellow Indonesians, have less income per year.
Admittedly, even in the local context, it is clear that many of Scott’s Balinese subjects are not “wealthy”. But it appears that many of them, like the young man in school uniform and on a motor bike, or the one standing in the market, live more than two USD per day — the technical definition of the poverty line. So they (those two at least) do not appear to be destitute.
Bali, with all of its problems, is also one of the provinces of Indonesia which is managing to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. So please see the pictures in context. The tourism money helps Balinese development and hence indirectly the people. Scott’s pictures here contribute to the effort.
Last, I want to think Scott and Garance for their beautiful pictures of my country.
The blues in this photograph stand out so much to me that it reminds me of Steve McCurry’s works. More, please! These photographs that bring us in to the unknown sides of the world are so special.
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