The children photographed here are like tens of millions to be found in shantytowns and refugee camps and peasant settlements across Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. In that sense, they were chosen haphazardly. But they are also proudly individual because, in another very real sense, they chose to be photographed.

On a given day, they saw a stranger with a camera and they jumped with noisy excitement at the novelty. Then, in exchange for allowing the visitor to work in peace, they were invited to line up to be photographed. Suddenly their demeanour changed. One by one, they faced the camera and decided how it should record them.

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