‘Babies’ is a documentary film which chronicles the first year of life of four babies spanning the globe. Documentarian Thomas Balmès fans out to the grasslands of Namibia, the plains of Mongolia, the high rises of Tokyo and the busy streets of San Francisco in a study of culture, societal structure, geography and tradition, along with parental love and the impact all these elements have on child rearing. In the hunting and gathering society of Namibia and pastoral Mongolia, Balmès follows Ponijao and Bayar and in postindustrial Tokyo and San Francisco we are introduced to Mari and Hattie. While the 1:18 film has no real dialogue, viewers are able to get a distinct feel for each baby’s personality, the role they play within the family
Sally Mann’s style incorporates black and white photographs of her children, which are presented with “ordinary moments of childhood, suspended in time and transformed into aesthetic objects, takes on a distorted, even uncanny quality” (Arnason and Mansfield 719). Sally Mann photographed The New Mothers in 1989. This photograph’s most dominant elements are value and space. Having the photographs black and white really enhances the visibility of values. Most of Mann’s work is outside and has a define depth of field to blur out the background and emphasize the focus of the children. This compositional style helps to identify the high and low key values within the photos. The clothes, the reflection of the sun on the girls’ hair, and the girls fair skin are the part of the image that show high-key values, while the rest of the photo in more middle and low-key values. The intense depth of field increases a feeling of space for the viewer. In the photo you can see that the two young girls and their stroller is all in a line horizontally. Behind the girls you can notice they are outside in a open area because of the blurred grass and trees behind them. This photograph’s most dominant principles are movement and variety. The depth of field and lack of distraction in the background of the photo allows your eye to focus and move around with the subjects in the photo. The height of the subjects forms a triangle shape, which is
Babies (Balmes, 2010) is an unusual documentary film that does not have any narration. This documentary film follows four babies from four different countries: Ponijao from Namibia, Bayar from Mongolia, Mari from Japan, and Hattie from the United States. The film takes viewers to these four babies’ development from their birth to roughly around age one. These four babies are different starting from when they are born. While Namibian parents gets no help from hospital, American parents does not even think of giving birth to the children without going to the hospital. When the baby is born, Hattie meets the world with bunch of medical equipment whereas Namibian child gets no such test. Anyone who encounters Babies (Balmes, 2010) would realize how different culture affects children even from their infancy. Most distinctively, it can be inferred that children development differs by the culture of parenting, the child’s attachment, and the child’s motor development.
While many photos in You Have Seen Their Faces depict life in the south in negative light, there are a few photos that contradict this sentiment. While reading the book I found many photos that placed their subjects in a positive light and most of them happened to center around motherhood. These images portrayed the mothers as strong and determined in the face of adversity.
Infant mortality is a major issue the world struggles with. Today, with advances in medicine and technology, the infant mortality rate decreases every year. However, in the past and in other developing countries, access to resources necessary to having and raising a healthy child are not available. In the article “Death Without Weeping”, the author, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, discusses about her time spent at Alto do Cruzeiro, Brazil. Hughes goes on to explain why the infant mortality rate was high in Alto do Cruzeiro. She also discusses how the women and children are treated in the community.
As Kris gets to know Monique better, she learns of her friend's deep unhappiness with her marriage. Monique also reveals that she's having an affair with the man she would have married, had the cultural practice of arranged marriage not existed. The village of Nampossela has a clinic and birthing house. Monique was able to help the mother’s in the prenatal stages and the birthing process, teach them how to clean water, make baby food and wash their hands to stay clean and prevent the spreading of germs. She weighted the babies to show the mothers if their children were in a healthy weight range or if they were in the dangers of being malnourished. She could provide some vaccinations and administer first aid to wounds. Women of Mali faced many health risks. Since women were to have many children they were at danger during childbirth. “I knew that Mali had one of the highest rates of maternal death in the world. I’d read a sobering statistic that placed a Malian women’s lifetime risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth around one in twelve, compared to a women’s risk of one in over three thousand” (8). Excessive bleeding, straining after pregnancies, unsanitary conditions are some of the risks for women. Female genital cutting (FGC), was common amongst the women in Mali. At a young age they experience the cutting of their genital area, because they are not to experience pleasure during intercourse. This process is painful. It causes problems
Since the start of the Sierra Leonean war in March of 1991, innocent civilians have been the primary target of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF)’s wrath. The people of Sierra Leone have faced significant problems due to the invasions and attacks by the Rebel Forces and are the main population that is being affected by this group’s disapproval of the government. One person who experienced profound changes in her life due to the start of this war is Mariatu Kamara, a victim of a Rebel attack that cost her both her childhood and her hands. Throughout her memoir, “The Bite of the Mango,” she is faced with numerous traumatic events and meets an abundance of people who were very significant in her life and some of whom helped her survive the war. Kamara also gives the reader a variety of themes to use as a foundation to understanding war life, which also serve to help readers learn more about life, grow as people, and rise above to help others in need. Mariatu Kamara has not only changed the lives of people all throughout Sierra Leone by giving them a voice and an outlet to share their experiences, but has also proved to be an inspiration for countless amputees around the world.
The documentary Babies by Thomas Balmès is a film that takes place in four very different locations around the world. The documentary follows four babies and their families from when they are first born as they grow up and are able to walk. We watch Ponijao grow up in Namibia, Bayar grow up in Mongolia, Hattie grow up in San Francisco, and Mari grow up in Tokyo. Because the babies are from such different places, the documentary allows us to see what it is like growing up in cultures that we are currently unfamiliar with. The film opens up your eyes to the various forms of living in other areas around the world. In this paper, I will discuss the universal themes I noticed, my personal reflection of the film, the various
Battling disease and personal connection, the life of a soon to be doctor can come with many opportunities, as well as regretful decisions. The Lassa Ward, a memoir told by Ross I. Donaldson, tells the true story of a medical student who embarks on a journey to Western Africa to face one of the most fatal diseases in the world. Published by St. Martin's Press, in 2009, in the city of New York, this story takes place in the early 2000s across many villages and refugee camps in Sierra Leone. The struggle of disease, differing cultural beliefs, and heartbreak due to a loss from death are the main topics of the book, although Donaldson does not fail to intertwine the issue revolving around the Rebel United Front in Liberia. In this moving book,
The types of photos that the girls took were photos of younger girls in class, younger girls working, pregnant teenagers, sometimes photos of their other peers and more. The photos that these girls have taken tells us a lot about the village culture and the challenges that these girls face in post war Sierra Leone. The main problem that we see in these girls is teen pregnancy. These young girls have no way of escaping pregnancy at such a young age and if they do happen to get pregnant, their lives are basically over, they get shunned from their family and are no longer able to go to school which leads to an impoverished lifestyle. At one point sex education seemed like an idea that
Catherine Angel’s Bessie and Nadine (2000) is a toned gelatin silver print on paper. The photographer, Catherine Angel, is currently a professor for the Department of Art at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, but most importantly, she is a mother. In fact, her daughters are the subjects shown in this photograph. Catherine Angel is experienced in Black and White Large Format Photography, Mixed Media Collage, Handmade Books and Color works. Her work has been exhibited in more than 400 exhibits. In this black and white photograph, Bessie and Nadine, there are two young girls of color are interlocked in fetal position within a dirt hole in the ground. There is grass on the rim of the photograph and a scarce amount of living plants around this
Her most well know piece Migrant Mother which was of Florence Owens Thompson. The photograph shows a worn out mother with her two children's heads in her shoulders, and a baby in her lap.
Concerning color, there is a stark contrast between the figure on the painting and the background. More specifically, the figure of the woman is predominantly delineated in white color, especially pale, ashen white, as far her apparel and facial complexion are concerned, while there are also various hues of grey, with respect to her hair and accessory feather. These white and grey shades are vividly contrasted with the prevailing red and crimson hues of the background (viz. the drape, armchair, and table). Moreover, one can detect colors of dark green (jewelry), some beige on the left (pillar), and darker or lighter shades of blue on the right side of the canvas (sky), which all in concert and in addition to the subtle purple hue forming the sun or moon exude a certain dramatic sentiment. Also, there is brown, which often easily segues into gold (viz. books and attire details respectively). The main contrast of colors between white and red would be interpreted as serving the purpose of rendering the figure of the woman, and especially her face, the focal point of the work, despite, paradoxically enough, the lush red shades at the background. Bearing that in mind, the significance of the woman’s face will be enlarged upon later, when discussing aspects of her identity.
There were no jobs even if you were educated,” a 32 year-old male ex-combatant said (Archibald and Richards 8). So, youths have one choice in what they do around chiefs and youth leaders, and it is to run away from everything. Though, the choice is a poor decision, and now, instead of a semi-stable life, they lead a life of fighting and violence. Now, the women of Sierra Leone are kept at the bottom of the social ladder by customary law (Archibald and Richards 10). To be kept at the bottom because of being a different gender is belittling; barely being counted as a human being with not even a third of the rights one should have. The population of both youth and women seem to be in a process of characterized as the invention of human rights ‘from below’ (Archibald and Richards 2). A Luanda-based British diplomat did say the international community could intervene and help the youth and women, but it will not (Gordon 1). No one would come to aid these people, to help them through the rough patches in their society, and, in all, they were left to solve their own problems. Life in Sierra Leone was not close to being at a stable level, it was getting rougher to live in the country. The people of Sierra Leone were getting treated badly as the economy in the country was lowering.
The grey background makes the mood seem harsh and cold. The background further exemplifies the lifelessness of the women.