An air of mystery

Indonesia, November 10, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps  </span>
    Photo: Thatcher Cook for Mercy Corps

I'm often attracted to photographs that have an air of mystery — images that pose a question and encourage the viewer to fill in the blanks. Because children are so naturally gregarious, my curiosity is piqued by this solitary little girl in pink. What's motivated her to sit quietly and alone by a river in Jakarta? Her body language seems neither happy nor sad, just contemplative. Thatcher Cook took this intriguing image when he traveled for us to Indonesia in August of 2009. Here's what he says about it:

"It was a hot day and I sat with some old men and smiled and made hand-gestured small talk with them. This little girl came and sat in front of us and I decided to make some photographs of her with the numbers in the background. She was this sweet little pink and white angel in a city neighborhood. The numbers are for a fishing derby that happens in the Krukut river. I was reacting to the soft colors of her outfit and the juxtaposition of the heat and the old men. I also remember many boys playing an aggressive version of marbles. I photographed them as well — but it was this little girl who sat in the middle of the activity that was the winning image for me."