WPC: Humanity at the Dolac Market, Zagreb

dolac market statue

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.


5 responses to “WPC: Humanity at the Dolac Market, Zagreb

  1. I certainly do agree but these photos were all taken during my work with different NGOs on poverty, global health, education and human rights. I met each one of these people and wrote in depth about their issues on my blog. Seeing poverty firsthand is devastating yet it also does make us realize how much we are the same regardless of whether we live in a shack or not. So while I did chose most of these photos from my work as a social good blogger and photographer who doe happen to work primarily in poor countries, that does not at all mean that these were why I chose the photos. I chose them simply to represent the different people and cultures of people I’ve met on my journey. The challenge is not about poverty. It is about our differences and humanity. 🙂 Next time I’ll include some photos of my children to lighten it up.

  2. This is a beautifully written post, and I think a perfect entry for the topic of humanity! I love thinking about all the people who passed by this statue, even if they aren’t “exotic” or “different.”

  3. Well said. I noticed this trend among some of the responses, and was a bit disturbed by it, but fortunately there were plenty that didn’t do it.

  4. Thought-provoking post. I guess this is what makes the photo challenge so interesting: we all have different ways of interpreting the theme.

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