Penguin: Harmondsworth, 1972 / cover photo: ©Ron Chapman
Look At Kids is a combination of pictures and text, that highlights the natural expressive potential of children. In a series of anecdotes and reflections Leila contrasts the value of kids’ uncensored perception and logic with the repressive censoriousness of officialdom.
The evocative photos, taken mainly on the streets by various professional photographers, were not originally shot for the book, but were collected over many years by Leila. They complement the text on almost every page, and the result is fierce and poetic.
Is it really so much a child needs – the right to have space, and time for exploration, so that each can grow at its own rhythm and become part of society in a natural way… to feel what they feel, to have their experiences accepted as valid, and to be responded to in their own context…to live lives that are their own, not someone else’s….the right to have happy parents, whom society accepts and values?
Is it really so much? It is indeed. Ask our society that sets each creative child on the conveyor belt, and deals it as it moves along a hammer-blow here and a twist there, till it becomes the anonymous mass component that the state needs, and see society’s response…see its priorities.
Yet each one of us is a member of “society”. And only children, and the sheer brilliance of children, can save each one of us from the sickness and the death that we choose to call living. LB