Little Girls from Belarus in Plentzia

Discussion in 'Photojournalism, Candids and Street Photography' started by DeBilbao, Jul 16, 2007.

  1. I'm not collaborating too much with this wonderful forum, I'm almost a leecher that get tons of information from it, but I would like to share with you a personal experience from this weekend.

    As you can see from my nickname, my hometown is Bilbao, in the Bask Country in Spain. I live here all the year but in summer I move to a beach village called Plentzia, 30 km away from it. It's a nice place, were things go in a much slower tempo than in the city and I love this.

    There's a NGO there in Plentzia that every year collects a group of little girls from Belarus so they can spend around six weeks in the comfort of this town, and we can manage to get from them something that they are not used to: a smile.

    Their personal circumstances are terrible. They come from de-structured families, some of them with tutors instead of parents, and others with mum or dad, but very problematics, alcohol, violence, ... dramatic.

    This year we have a group of twelve little girls between 8 and 9 years old. They are accompanied by two ladies that are teachers of Spanish in their country. The whole trip from Minsk to Plentzia takes two days and a half, crossing all Europe in bus. Isn't it incredible?

    But people from Plentzia really get involved. Everyday there's a family or a group of friends that are in charge of them, making the meal, or just having some fun with them. It's an act of solidarity, but everyone look at it without strange. We love our belarussians and we support them.

    This weekend, my wife and I along with two friends have been with them, making the meal and having a lot of fun with them. I'm not a good cooker but while the others were in the kitchen I setup some kind of multimedia experience with them.

    I've taken my Hitachi PJ-TX200 projector, a Pioneer DVD, a pair of autoamped Trevi speakers and my 5th gen iPod. Being a Jazz fan i filled the house where they live with music from Charlie Byrd, Stan Getz, Joao Gilberto, Ken Peplowski, Scott Hamilton, Coleman Hawkins, even Keith Jarrett and his Khöln Concert that was one of the favourites of the little girls.

    Saturday evening we setup a home-cinema, and I selected "The Beauty and The Beast". I managed to get a copy in russian, so everyone understand well what they say. The Disney story is lovely, the music, the songs, the love between the main characters ... everyone ended up crying and I was told that they've never seen a movie like this. They were fascinated... and so did I.

    The success was so huge that I had to setup a second movie for Sunday. I carried some movies in spanish and the girls decided to see "Garfield". Maybe not the best movie around, but definately they laughed a lot. And that's enough.

    I carried the camera only on Sunday, because I didn't want to get distracted from the main task that was attending the girls. But I get some shots that I would like to share with you. They are not the best photos I've ever take but I'm quite satisfied with them.

    All taken with my Nikon D80, the 18-200 VR and the SB-600 bounced and diffussed with a Stoffen-like difusser.

    Enjoy them














  2. A lovely story and wonderful pictures. Thank you for your dedicated work with the girls, and for sharing a piece of their lives with us. They are beautiful, and your pictures portray their spirit. :smile:
  3. Fun captures and even better story!
  4. WOW! Great captures and what a wonderful cause and experience. Great job!