WE Curate: Toy Stories

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Gabriele Galimberti is an Italian photographer that set out on an eighteen-month journey to photograph children all over the world posing with their favourite toys. Most of these portraits were taken in their bedrooms, allowing us to see a range of different living environments as well.

“The richest children were more possessive. At the beginning, they wouldn’t want me to touch their toys, and I would need more time before they would let me play with them,” says Galimberti, who would often join in with a child’s games before arranging the toys and photographing them. “In poor countries, it was much easier. Even if they only had two or three toys, they didn’t really care. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.”

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There is a constant factor in this series of photographs: they simply just wanted to play. Their toys spoke a lot about their culture, their hopes and how they saw the world, but he also found that it said a lot more about their parents. There was the Latvian mother who drove a taxi for a living, and who showered her son with miniature car. Parents from the Middle East and Asia, he found, would push their children to be photographed even if they were initially nervous or upset, while South American parents were “really relaxed, and said I could do whatever I wanted as long as their child didn’t mind”.

The rest of the series can be found here.

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