One hundred years ago, the slog of World War One had set in, which would only stop when the old world was finally crushed. I saw these pictures elsewhere from Paris during World War One. The photographer was Leon Gimpel*. What he did was stage photos with the children who played little games of cops and robbers only transposed to the French and Germans in the streets. Knowing that Gimpel helped create everything from basic poses to the very "toys" they used to play, the pictures lose a little emotion. By creating a message and using the kids for whatever message he wanted, the very message of children playing fighting games in the middle of a war changes. It is not organic anymore. Kids playing war in the middle of a war is a fantastic example of that odd awareness children have of adult things but transformed through a child's mind into their concepts, like light hitting a prism and becoming a rainbow. Gimpel playing with this to stage "battle play" warps this. It is tainted. An innocent play game representing a dangerous thing that could make a viewer stop and think has become an adults exploitation of children to push some point. Still, the photographs are wonderful to see.
|Interesting choice of staging|
|Did Gimpel provide the clothing too? Awesome toy rifles.|
|The kid in red is starting to creep you out|
|The kid in red is like an evil sprite|
|Only one kid has the stones to shoot... the evil bastard in red|
|For kids playing, no one looks happy|
|Final proof that this is staged by Gimpel. An awesome plane...|
|...hung from a telephone pole by a kid that is maybe 2 feet tall with a gut|
*If you're confused why an adult wouldn't just take pictures of the kids playing and catch the spontaneous order and organic feel to children handling a war time situation on native soil, Gimpel was a Jew. Exploiting kids... must be genetic.