Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions

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Chiwa – Mchinji, Malawi

I came across the following article by Amanda Gorence on my Tumblr dash, and I thought that it was an incredible commentary on the world. How our children play is directly tied to our society, and the portrait is sometimes more than a little sad.

Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possesions—their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world; saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.”

But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys and that it took time before they allowed him to play with them (which is what he would do pre-shoot before arranging the toys), whereas in poorer countries he found it much easier to quickly interact, even if there were just two or three toys between them.

There were similarites too, especially in the functional and protective powers the toys represented for their proud owners. Across borders, the toys were reflective of the world each child was born into—economic status and daily life affecting the types of toys children found interest in. Toy Stories doesn’t just appeal in its cheerful demeanor, but it really becomes quite the anthropological study.

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Stella – Montecchio, Italy

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Pavel – Kiev, Ukraine


Arafa & Aisha – Bububu, Zanzibar

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Cun Zi Yi – Chongqing, China

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Bethsaida – Port au Prince, Haiti

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Orly-Brownsville,Texas

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Botlhe – Maun, Botswana

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Watcharapom – Bangkok, Thailand


Alessia – Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy

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Norden – Massa, Morocco

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Julia – Tirana, Albania

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Keynor – Cahuita, Costa Rica

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Shaira – Mumbai, India

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Tangawizi – Keekorok, Kenya

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2 thoughts on “Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions

  1. Interesting… documenting – mostly… but as a photographer, I can see how much of herself Galimberti has brought to her project. Which is not a bad thing by any means – we can only see through our own eyes, our own perspective. But I can feel the world she longs for in these images… and I think the last child, who is probably the poorest, has the coolest bedroom on the planet! (wildlife notwithstanding)

    • I was really touched by the whole series. Some of the bedrooms were really sad and a few disturbing. I like the idea of what’s is precious to children as commentary.

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