Doug Going Photography

The environment in which a child grows up greatly influences what kind of life that child will have and, ultimately, the opportunities that will be afforded to them as an adult.

This exhibit focuses on the life of children in countries from South America, Africa, and South and South-East Asia. The concerns for the average child growing up in these parts of the world are quite different from those of the average child in America, and most of these differences are simply due to where they are born. Born anywhere else, their lives would be quite different. They could be in the marching band or soccer camp, going to the mall on a Saturday afternoon or relaxing on the couch playing video games, or more importantly – going to school. However, for the overwhelming majority of children in the world, childhood is a luxury. Instead, these children are forced to grow up much more quickly and to assume adult responsibilities, while at the same time struggling to hold on to remnants of childhood.

But they are nevertheless children, and regardless of where in the world you are, there are certain universals — the tender love of a mother’s hand (A Mother’s Love), the desire to play (Simple Toys) and a child’s genuine curiosity (Take A Peek).

The companion text and images exhibited here are meant to give deeper insight into the children’s lives and to serve as a possible, if not likely, sign of things to come. At times the companion photo may not be from the same country as the main photo, but in some way expands upon it in theme.

Not by any means intended to be a complete and exhaustive look at childhood from around the world, Remnants Of Childhood aims to draw attention to the differences as well as the similarities between children everywhere. The images and impressions in this exhibit are drawn from a series of personal experiences and not a formal research project. Nevertheless, the goal of the exhibit is to bare witness to the condition of children, and childhood, in these faraway lands and to raise awareness of the vast inequality, incomparable diversity, and yet remarkable sameness of children everywhere.

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."—Mahatma Ghandi

This exhibit was made possible in part with grants from the New York State Council on the Arts and the New York Foundation for the Arts.