ONLY A GAME?
Almost all types of modern weapons have toy copies.
Nearly every small boy has at least one toy pistol, gun or wooden sword.
I have three sons. When my older boys were growing, I did not think seriously about the issue of toy weapons — I did not buy them specifically for my children, but guns somehow got into our house (someone gave them to play, someone gave them as a gift). At some point, I realized that we already got a whole stock of various toy weapons — pistols, machine guns, rifles, swords, daggers. After that, I started working on the project.
Some parents try to protect their children from toy weapons, arguing that there is no need to bring up aggression in a child. Others, on the contrary, encourage games of war, referring to the fact that a boy needs to be raised a real man, he must feel strong in order to protect his loved ones, his family and country.
I found the subjects of these photographs on the Internet, inviting children to pose with their favorite toy weapons. I gave them complete freedom: what toy to choose, what pose to take. Did these images turn out aggressive and belligerent? Or do we find them sweet, since for us this is only a game?
Initially, I made a series only about boys, it was closer and more relatable to me. But then the girls' mothers started texting me telling their daughters also like to play with weapons. At that time I did not interview the children and did not write down their names, thereby showing only the image, I did not care who the child was. Now I continue to shoot girls and plan to interview all the parents of the children who participated in the project.
This project is in the MMAM collection.