Soccer match photographed by homeless teens.

Photo Essay: The Ball

Last week I spent some time with homeless kids last week living in the streets of Tanzania. Some are orphans, some castaways, some runaways.

While I played a bit of keepaway with the boys and my colleague Eli, a few other kids took turns shooting the action with my camera.

The results are fascinating.

Because out of the 150 or so shots that they fired, a few show faces… and the subject of the collection is undoubtedly the ball.

To me it is a demonstration of how disconnected these kids are from human relationships. The ball is the most important part of the action—why wouldn’t it be? No experiences in these kids lives have given them any reason to consider human relationships more important than an inanimate object. They can relate much more to the battered and well-worn black and white sphere than to any person.

So the star of the game wasn’t me and my totally-amazing-for-a-thirty-something-year-old skills… but rather the humble mastercard-promo football.