The New Entrepreneurs

 

Artist Statement - Larry D'Attilio

Maybe this sounds too optimistic but I wonder if it is.  Conflict is a result of people feeling trapped by their circumstances.  But what if you empower them to change their circumstances and become committed to social stability? The micro loan concept helps this and also allows the lender to invest their money reliably while feeling they are contributing some good to the world.

The photographs of these women borrowing money to start businesses have become a visual narrative through visual metaphors.  As an artist I tend to look for an imaginative but  personal take on how and what I choose to photograph.  Frankly I am overwhelmed by the earthy spirit of these women and their fresh energy.  I have made these photographs assuming that those and other qualities will be conveyed through the images.  My intention is to help grow the micro loan idea while also trying to get the viewers to connect to these women.  I feel they have much in common with Western women in their feelings, thoughts and goals though they live exactly half way around the world.

I was fortunate to be in these villages a number of times over a year.  After the earliest visits and the women and their families had accepted me as a friend.  They were quite open in conversation and also in front of the camera. Their lack of egoistic identity concerns was special to me.   After awhile I became aware of how much more centered and at ease I felt around them.   I also understood I had more that I was learning from them then the reverse.  In fact I was being helped by them in a spiritual way.  I know in the Western countries we think we have so much but in some ways these rural women have a lot too especially of those things that promote a sense of well being in lifer  It certainly seems they enjoy their days a lot despite the workload and financial strain they face everyday of their lives.

 

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