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Images from the Developing World: At Work and at Leisure: Solo exhibition at Cornell University October, 2010

Most photographers seem instinctively to try to capture "moments" that interest them. Over many years of shooting in developing countries, I've found that the most compelling of those preserved moments frequently show people hard at work or enjoying leisure. Work in such countries generally consists of long hours of considerable effort. In this exhibition the Indian man balancing a lamp on his head to illuminate a wedding procession and the melon transporter in Vietnam are good examples. Leisure can take many forms. Some people find pleasure in a solitary setting, like the wistful young woman sitting on the rocks by the Mekong River in Laos, watching boats pass by. Others find conviviality in a group, like the Croatian men drinking in celebration of a town holiday. 

Each image speaks for itself, of course, and reflects a singular moment in time and place. When photographed, the many people depicted here were pursuing activities that attracted this pohotgrapher’s interest, in part because they usually demonstrated a sense of dignity and purpose. I thank each of them for their vicarious participation in this exhibition. 

All photographs © Craig Peterson  


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