One is the Loneliest Number

Faith Collecting Water. Digital image. Child Fund. Web. 1 Nov. 2012.

This image represents the struggle for survival for an orphan living in Africa.

The image features a young African girl standing in a very low basin of water in the daylight. She is the focal point of the image as she is standing yet bent over at her hips as she leans to pour water from the stream into her plastic yellow container. Her knees and her hips are pointed perpendicular to the camera angle but her head is turned toward the camera. Her eyebrows are scorned and her mouth is tense. She is wearing a knee-length skirt and a black long sleeve shirt, which both appear to be a little bit dirty. The area in which she is standing is very muddy and wet. There are large rocks behind the girl with a few green shrubs behind them. There is also another plastic container, gray in color, placed in the mud behind the girl.

It can be interpreted that the young girl is an orphan. She is alone, without any guidance from any adult figures. Since she is so young and having to get water for herself from the water basin it is also clear that she must be an orphan. Normally a parent or an adult would be caring for the child and doing the tasks such as gathering and preparing food and water. The girl’s facial expression also indicates that she is unhappy, which implies that she is not doing this task by choice (thus further proving the point that she has to do it because she is her own caretaker). Since there are two big containers it can be interpreted that she has to get as much water as she can carry, possibly because she has a far walk back to where she sleeps and she wants to spare the amount of trips she makes to the basin since there isn’t anyone else who can do this for her. The fact that the water is muddy demonstrates how desperate the girl must be for water. Therefore, she must not have a caretaker who is providing her with a better and healthier source of water and this is her only solution. Her clothes have dried mud on them, which can’t be from the day the picture was taken because the mud she is standing in is wet. Therefore, she must not have very many, if any other, clothes to wear. She does not have someone taking care of her and cleaning her clothes. This image demonstrates how difficult it is to be an orphan living in Africa because there isn’t anyone to take care of them and they are forced to do difficult tasks at a young age. The struggle for survival is evident.

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2 comments

  1. I thought this post was fantastic once again. I think you did a great job of describing the picture. I could see the image in my head by just reading the first paragraph. In saying that, you couldn’t have described this image any better. I think you also did a great job interpreting the image based on what you see. I especially liked when you said, “Since there are two big containers it can be interpreted that she has to get as much water as she can carry, possibly because she has a far walk back to where she sleeps and she wants to spare the amount of trips she makes to the basin since there isn’t anyone else who can do this for her.” The only thing I was left wondering about this image was who took this photo? And is she making that face because the person is taking an image of her? Overall I think you did a wonderful job with this curation.

  2. This image really pulled me in. Most images I get bored, but this image makes me want to figure out all the questions I have. I think this picture exemplifies the important issues of poverty. You describe what the girl is wearing and what she looks like well. Also i enjoy how you interpret the image, concluding that no one is looking after her and that she is allalone. Also it was important that you did touch upon how dirty the water is, making this child desperate for water. You explained how difficult it is being an orphan, and the logic behind fending for yourself when you are one. All in all I don’t think you missed anything and your interpretation of your image was spot on.

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