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Photographers and children

This little girl’s expression seems contrary to her young age. She looks as if she has the weight of the world on her thin shoulders. “She was so dark, in that white dress, holding an iron. It was all there, issues of gender, race and poverty,” said Carl Pope. “It’s a heartbreaking image.”

The girl’s sweet expression and obvious shyness takes on much larger, more grown-up matters when you consider that a white dress could symbolize a bride. That kind of association, coupled with the iron she is holding, suggests a woman and housewife, not a child with a toy. The setting she stands in with a trash can as a backdrop completes the connections among issues of race, gender, innocence and poverty.


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Minneapolis Institute of Arts