Friday, November 27, 2009

how the class war works

Joy may have found the source of this picture here.


  1. A terrible picture, Will.

    Where does it come from?

  2. I dunno. I found it on popurls, where the link is called "I hate spoiled little brats."

  3. Shocking. Is it possible the girl is aiming "the finger" at someone else out of the picture?

    Possible source: Dian Agung Nugroho, taken in Indonesia.

  4. It demonstrates there are two kinds of poverty. Prehaps the best tittle would be: "Poverty of Spirit"

  5. Unless it was staged. Checking at the probable source (thank you Joy), it doesn't sound like it was planned. But the depth of field is narrow, and the two foci of the picture, the hand and the other woman's face, are both in sharp focus. Looking at the bricks in the pavement, they might well have been about the same distance from the camera, but... it still strikes me as an amazing co-incidence to have them both be in such sharp focus. It happens, but part of me still wonders.

    EXIF data still in the posted jpg says that the picture was taken 2004:02:21 08:39:08, and that the file was processed with Photoshop CS3 and saved at 2008:09:16 08:41:07.

    Kids deal with the lack of control in their lives all the time; they each find ways to deal with it, usually with some form of rebellion. In this case the kid has found an adult she can express her frustration and anger at without fear of reprisal. And she took the opportunity. But the *reason* she believes she can do so free of reprisal is, as will notes, the perceived difference in social class makes her seem to believe that the older woman has equal or lesser social status to her own.

    And, depending on her culture, she may be right.

    Now, when her parents see the picture, she will be in even bigger trouble... her action shames the family. She knows this; her facial expression is an interesting mix of happiness ("I can rebel!" -- the smile almost all in her eyes) and stress ("But I could get in trouble if caught." -- the lips compressed and drawn in is usually indicative of a high level of stress).

    She may also have thought that the older woman might not know what the gesture means; I don't know the degree to which it has penetrated the culture. But the woman with the bowl has a definite expression of shock and surprise, so I think her reaction is much the same as ours.

  6. vnend, excellent info. I love how today, photo manipulation might be an attempt to deceive, or it might be an attempt to make the photo clearer.

  7. And to play advocatus diaboli:

    Has it occurred to anyone that the clean, rather well dressed elderly woman is a professional beggar who has harrassed those kids daily, possibly for years? I'd bet she hit those kids with her daily demand and the 3rd little girl was just fed up with it.

    If this had been in southern Italy (and I have no reason to believe that professional beggars in Indonesia are any different) the transaction would have gone something like this:

    1) Girls show up on way to school (or home)
    2) Professional Beggar demands money
    3) Girls ignore her or say no because they see her there every day (and their parents have told them to avoid beggars)
    4) Professional Beggar curses girls in a loud and colorful way
    5) Fed up girl #3 flips off Professional Beggar

    Incidentally, it is probably a bad idea to assume because those kids are apparently wearing school uniforms they are of significantly higher social class than the old woman. Note for example the mismatched socks and footwear suggesting their families (or the charity that supplied the clothing) have relatively limited resources.