gabriel galimberti

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Toy Stories, Gabriele Galimberti

Shot over a period of 18 months, Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti‘s project Toy Stories compiles photos of children from around the world with their prized possessions—their toys. Galimberti explores the universality of being a kid amidst the diversity of the countless corners of the world, saying, “at their age, they are pretty all much the same; they just want to play.”

But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys and that it took time before they allowed him to play with them (which is what he would do pre-shoot before arranging the toys), whereas in poorer countries he found it much easier to quickly interact, even if there were just two or three toys between them.

There were similarities too, especially in the functional and protective powers the toys represented for their proud owners. Across borders, the toys were reflective of the world each child was born into—economic status and daily life affecting the types of toys children found interest in. Toy Stories doesn’t just appeal in its cheerful demeanor, but it really becomes quite the anthropological study.

  1. Chiwa - Mchinji, Malawi
  2. Julia - Tirana, Albania
  3. Watcharapom - Bangkok, Thailand
  4. Alessia - Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy
  5. Maudy - Kalulushi, Zambia
  6. Fermina - Montevideo, Uruguay
  7. Pavel - Kiev, Ukraine
  8. Allenah - El Nido, Philippines
  9. Callum - Fairbanks, Alaska
  10. Cun Zi Yi - Chongqing, China
Italian photographer Gabriele Galimberti spent 18 months traveling around the world and photographing children with their favorite toys for his ‘Toy Stories’ series. Gabriele says it was surprising how much toys can tell about the family of the child, and even though all kids just want to play, they do it in very different ways: “The richest children were more possessive. In poor countries, it was much easier. In Africa, the kids would mostly play with their friends outside.” Doesn’t that bring back the memories of your favorite childhood toys?

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At their core, tax havens serve those who wish to avoid the legal and regulatory scrutiny (and tax burden) of their home countries. They enable companies to channel massive sums of money around the world, using byzantine structures of shell companies and sheltered accounts.

Photographers Paolo Woods and Gabriele Galimberti have spent the past three years gaining access to this secretive world, and for much of that time they labored over how to visually represent something that is often invisible by design. The images they collected in their book, The Heavens, are remarkable for what they reveal but are even more evocative because of what we know lies beneath the surface.

MORE. Beyond the Panama Papers: See Inside the World’s Tax Havens