New Internationalist

Julio Etchart

March 2007

There is an area of life in some societies when work and play blend with each other. Children and young people learn survival skills at a very early age. Hunting birds with a sling provides food and trains the user in good target practice, an essential skill in hunting-gathering social groups.

I took this picture in a village in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, and included it in Toys, my photo-book on global play. The book does not pretend to be an A-Z of toys and games around the world. I am rather trying to show that children and young people have not lost the ability to imagine and to improvise games, despite the relentless assault by the toy and electronics transnationals designed to convert them into cyber-nerds!

Julio Etchart, Chile, from the book Toys- (Mets & Schilt, Amsterdam 2006, distributed in the UK by Pluto).

This column was published in the March 2007 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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