My heart sank when I saw this week’s photo challenge was on the topic of humanity. Throughout my travels I have noticed a trend to romanticize poverty, where travelers and photographers snap photos of the “contented” local youth, or pose with a crowd of local children supposedly saved by said traveler “volunteering” for a weekend in the middle of their round-the-world trip. As I’m writing this I haven’t looked too much into what other people have shared, but I’m hoping that this week’s entries move beyond just photos taken by rich travelers of people in developing countries.
My contribution this week is of a statue in the Dolac Market in Zagreb. I arrived in Zagreb so early in the morning that the market hadn’t even opened yet, so I was able to take this shot of the statue before the crowds descended on the vendors selling everything from turnips to Tupperware. I wanted to share a photo of a developed, urban location because every person who passes through that market, whether they are wealthy businesspeople on their way to their offices, farmers selling their own crops, students grabbing lunch between classes, police officers patrolling the area, clueless tourists blocking pedestrian traffic as they take photos on their iPads, or anyone else, is as much human as the children at the African orphanage or the woman with “smiling eyes” who looks at you from behind her niqab. Humanity isn’t about poverty, and it’s not about being different. Humanity is everyone.