Hilltop Castle

I found this photo by Jonas Bendiksen on Magnum Photos

Jonas Bendiksen VENEZUELA. Caracas. 2007. New squatter settlements on a hillside in north Caracas. (magnumphotos.com)

and I began to envy those kids, so I’m writing about it.

It almost looks like an optical illusion, as though the skyscrapers are mounted upon the roof of the shack in the foreground. But the celebratory spirit of the two little boys just makes the photograph a snippet of human life. The human presence in the scene is what makes it unbelievable, otherwise, anyone can paint a thing like that. To see something like this, and to think of capturing it with two little kids dancing in those very poses, at that exact moment of the early morning or early evening, is all the artfullness of the photograph.

I don’t really need to say what more I like about the photo, except that it opens up a new perspective, a fresh look into the world, and any photograph that can open the mind of the viewer to more possibilities is timeless.

I said I envied those boys. I envy them for the magnificent view that makes their castle. For me, there are two types of views worth climbing for. One off the peak of a mountain, overlooking wild valleys, and one on top of a tower, a skyscraper, surveying  a sea of rooftops, city lights, city life and commotion. And for me, this hill is definitely one worth climbing, and this photograph makes me want to be there.



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February 2011
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