Nov 5th

2008

Without The Frame: Biratnagar

worldednepal

Biratnagar, Nepal. 2008

This was one of those important days. The ones you remember forever. It was one of those days that give you an abiding sense of hope.

It was also one of those days you work really hard – the heat and humidity had soaked through all my clothes, I had chemical burns on a finger and thumb from slipping on the squat toilet and placing my hand in cleanser that morning, and the sun was so bright it made for tough shooting. But it was impossible to complain, to do anything but get on with the job and be deeply grateful that my work is so rewarding, and is accomplished without once putting 50lbs of bricks on my head.

This gal works harder than I ever will in a liftetime of working. Hours a day at the brick kiln carrying loads of 3kg bricks on her head, eight at a time, back and forth under incredible heat. She was, is, a child laborer.

She’s also confident, has a beautiful smile and is working on her education and starting a small business. She’s the reason I feel great hope for places like Nepal. In a culture of passive acceptance of the fates, she’s grabbing her future with great tenacity. Children like her, and all the children I spent time with in Nepal, inspire me, humble me.

I’m posting this with the kind permission of the girl, who I am leaving unnamed, and of World Education Nepal for whom I shot this image. Big thanks again to Sraddha, one of the most capable, and fun, producers/clients I have worked with.

Comments (10)
  1. wilsonian

    November 5, 2008 at 5:06 am

    This is such a strong, beautiful image. Such a striking reminder of the power of hope.

  2. Jakob Swartz Sorensen

    November 5, 2008 at 5:16 am

    Beautiful image, David. The girl shows so much dignity.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Mag

    November 5, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Beautiful and strong.

    As much as i do not like sitting in an office all day long with mostly bitter people, i am grateful for everything. images like yours are what makes us grounded.

  4. ben jones

    November 5, 2008 at 5:37 am

    Those eyes!

  5. Ron Carroll

    November 5, 2008 at 6:44 am

    There are a lot of reasons for hope today. Great image and great message, David. A very nice post.

  6. ben jones

    November 5, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Ron Carroll the famous music producer? Or you just happen to share his name?

    You are right in your message though.

  7. Ron Carroll

    November 5, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Same name, different guy.

  8. Tom

    November 5, 2008 at 8:01 am

    Holy Cow David. This is simply amazing and powerful. Thank you.

  9. November 5, 2008 at 11:11 am

    Wonderful balance. My eyes start at the top taking in the outlines of the brick, then I look at the hands. Work my way down to the eyes. Wow. Also what really sets the image off is the splash of color from the scarf. I really love this shot.

    Your text makes it an even stronger composition. The details you include make all the difference in the emotional response.

  10. sraddha

    November 6, 2008 at 2:39 am

    Big props for little me! Give thanks, David, for so very much. Good fun and learning, working with you…