Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti’s “Toy Stories” project is a heartwarming collection of photographs that capture the joy, innocence and wonder of childhood. For nearly his two years, Galimberti traveled the world, photographing children and their favorite toys in over 50 countries. From Texas to India, Malawi to China, Iceland to Fiji, Galimberti’s portraits offer a glimpse into the lives and dreams of children around the world.
Through his lens, Galimberti shows that toys not only provide entertainment, but also play a role in reflecting a child’s background, family, and culture. He noticed that children in wealthier countries owned their toys more exclusively, whereas children in poorer countries tended to play outside with their friends. , all children think toys have similar functions, and many believe that toys protect them from the dangers of the night. Galimberti’s project is a reminder that the love of play and imagination is universal among children, despite differences in culture and upbringing.
More information: Instagram | | gabrielelegalimberti.com
bored panda I reached out to Gabriele to find out more about the “Toy Story” project. From the beginning, I wanted to know the origin of this series. Photographer says: In 2010 and he in 2011, I worked for an Italian magazine called “D di La Repubblica”. I used to write a weekly column on travel and hospitality.Basically, I traveled 56 countries around the world for 2 years and stayed in the homes of people who hosted me through their website couchsurfing.orgEach week, I publish portraits of the people who have hosted me and their stories. magazineA few weeks before that long trip, a dear friend invited me to her home to take some pictures of her daughter Alessia. When I arrived, Alessia (4 years old at the time) was putting away her toys. I came up with the idea of helping her and advising her to sort by shape and color. photograph of this project. I liked the picture so much that I decided to replicate the same concept in every country I visit during my Couchsurfing world tour. ”
Gabriele then gave us some more insight into the project. I chose this age because I thought that children at that time had only one concern, and that was to play. The children I photographed were often, if not always, related to the family members who accepted me. I photographed about 70 people on the trip. Over the years, I continued to take new photographs each time I visited a new country. I think I have over 100 photos of him in my project now. “
Asked about his approach to photographing children who may not be used to being in front of a camera, Gabriele explained the whole process: While showing my pictures to the children, I show them the pictures I took earlier. In 90% of cases it’s so good to see the kids pick up on the concept right away and join the shoot as if it were a game. As soon as you get older, you will understand and enjoy participating. “
I wanted to know if the photographer had a particularly memorable experience while working on the “Toy Story” project, and Gabriel was quick to reply: Every family I met and every child I photographed left me with unique memories and teachings.
Given the nature of working with young children, it’s hard to imagine it’s always going to be easy. This is why Gabriele Galimberti asked about the difficulties and challenges he faced while working on the “Toy Story” project. And see the comparison with other children’s photos I’ve taken. I remember a few cases where I had to give up taking pictures because the child was crying and didn’t want to touch or play with the toy. I don’t want to force But most often parents intervene. They seem to want their children to participate in my projects. If it does, take a picture, otherwise give up. “
As we know, extensive travel and immersion in different cultures influences an individual’s worldview and approach to different aspects of life. He said: Indeed, they taught me how to get along with almost everyone and how to instantly empathize and trust. It’s hard to tell. She was my most loyal travel companion when it came to photography. The picture and I walked hand in hand. It was she who helped me see and learn the world. It was she who helped me get to know people and earn their trust. It was she who gave me abilities and possibilities. Then I’ll share what I’ve experienced and learned about people over the years. “
Finally, we asked how Gabriele understands the role of photography in fostering cross-cultural understanding and empathy. He said: Now it’s a language in itself. Almost everyone takes pictures on a daily basis and most often share them on social media for the whole world to see. Through the photograph, we can understand the thoughts of the person who took it, his state of love, and his desire to tell or hide something about himself. It helps in understanding and empathizing between cultures. “