Photographer Bruce Davidson took this photo of a teenaged girl holding a kitten 50 years ago. Now as he receives the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award, he would like to find the subject. As he was interviewed, the line that made me smile was this first sentence of the life he imagined for her:
“Let’s hope she became a writer or an artist. Hopefully, she has a full life, and not a life on the street. She was carrying a sleeping bag with her when I met her. I don’t know. Maybe she has a daughter, or even granddaughter that looks just like her and is holding another cat. . . . ”
Did anyone hope you would become a writer or artist? And was that person a successful artist proving it can be done? If not, enjoy his encouragement. Let’s hope you do grow up to be a writer or an artist.
Text © Gwyn Nichols 2011. All Rights Reserved.
More about it:
Lisa Mullins interviews Bruce Davidson at PRI’s The World PRI
Sean O’Hagan article in for Guardian
(Remember Steve McCurry’s photo of a green-eyed Afghan girl, a 1984 National Geographic cover? She was found again 17 years later.)
National Geographic Afghan Girl Found
I was charmed by this story until Mr. Davidson opined that the girl could be successful if she had not gotten “fat or stupid.” Misogynistic much?
I debated about even quoting the story because of that single phrase–or whether to make it the whole point of another post! (You’ll notice I ended my quotation before that line.) I decided that because this was an oral interview under pressure, a situation where any of us might choose words badly and not have final say in the editing process–and because I aim for a positive tone in my blog–I would give him the benefit of the doubt.
As a ghostwriter, I’ve been known to edit clients’ perspectives as well as their words. It’s been my experience that if I’m being called in for attitude adjustment more often than accurate attitude conveyance, those are not the clients for me.
Thank you! I realized that you had left that part out of your coverage and I appreciated that.