For years Georgana was sent to beg by her mother. If she did not come back with enough money, her mother tied her hands together with a rope and locked her up in the toilet. One day Georgana decided not to return home anymore. From that day on she became a street child. Like 10 million other street children in the world, her story is heartbreaking but hardly heard.
The street child phenomenon is a growing worldwide issue. Street children are the symptoms of the global inequality that is increasing with economic globalism. No country anywhere in the world today is without the presence of street children. The dramatic increase in the number of street children has been linked to societal stress associated with rapid industrialization and urbanization. Conversely, in industrialized countries, inner-city decay and chronic unemployment accompanying economic downturns are held responsible.
For Global Street Child Ton Hendriks visited 10 different, most developing, countries in 4 different continents, Africa, Asia, South-America, and Europe. He made over 100 elaborate portraits of street children. Most of the children have been interviewed about their dire circumstances and their family backgrounds, giving an exclusive insight into the causes of this worldwide phenomenon.
The project does not only focus on bad circumstances, nor on the support of various ngo’s. The posed portraits - made in a classical portrait style - show the Individual children in their situation and mood, asking empathy, understanding and investigation of the spectator.
The project is called Global Street Child in order to show the focus on the individual person of the child and its personal tragedy and possibilities, and to connect it with the phenomenon of globalism. This is the biggest project about this theme!
Street children live in dire circumstances, their rights and needs constantly being ignored. We should care as much about these children as we do of our own. Leaving them out there, fending for themselves against the odds, leaves scares on their souls and on our societies as a whole. Global Street Child, through the use of powerful images, raises awareness on the plight of these children. This is necessary so that efforts will be undertaken to change the situation of street children worldwide.
Mathijs Euwema, International Child Development Initiatives, Leiden, Holland.
Project by Ton Hendriks, Amsterdam