Top Tens

It’s that time of the year – rating and ranking the best movies, albums, songs, books, etc. from the past year. I’m a sucker for top ten lists. My favorite “greatest” compilation comes from an old YL friend – Bob Davidson. He does a compilation of the greatest songs of the past year. Last year Vampire Weekend’s Horchata made the cut – Joel and I have been waiting all year so we could sing “in december, drinking horchata” while actually drinking horchata. Yes, I love top ten lists.

Over the past few days I’ve been sorting through my pictures and pulled out some of my favorites of the past year. Images that capture the beauty of Guatemalan culture – beauty that’s often situated in the midst of current and past pain. I’m excited to share some of these images and why they are striking to me. To start off, something sweet.

I took this picture on All Saint’s Day, at the Kite Festival in Sumpango. I love cotton candy – it invites memories of hot days at the Hudsonville Fair, special events at school, and baseball games. This past summer I introduced my nephew to cotton candy and he’s a devoted fan.

This cotton candy is situated in a similar scene – at a festival, peddled by vendors, children watching with huge eyes as the candy forms around a paper stick. It’s carefree, it’s tasty, it’s fun. Juxtapose that imagery with the 8, 9, and 10 year olds I daily see selling cotton candy on the streets of Guatemala City in order to provide for their families.

Mixed imagery. Beauty in hardship. A striking image from ’11. More to come.

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