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Portraits of 4th Graders Around the World Tell Very Different Stories

Photographer Judy Gelles traveled around the world to ask 4th graders from China, India and the United States three questions: With whom do you live? What do you wish for? What do you worry about?

Their answers are as varied as their socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, and run the gamut emotionally from charming to horribly sad. In every one of the photos below, the children are faced away from the camera, leaving us to wonder not only who they currently are but who they might grow up to be. The poses of their young bodies tell us much about them, too, as do the school environments they were photographed in.

Read through Gelles’ “word portraits” and leave your reaction in the comments below:

All images via Judy Gelles. I found her work via Flavorwire. Visit Gelles’ site to see more of her “fourth grade project,” which is available for exhibition. Gelles is available to lecture on the project.


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