Man tries to capture faces of world's children in New York City

14:53, April 14, 2011      

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Danny Goldfield in his home office. (By Ren Jianmin People’s Daily Online)

After many frustrating months waiting for their entry visas, Shabnam, a 7-year-old Sri Lankan girl, along with her elder sister and mother, finally arrived in the United States where her father had been living alone.

A day after her arrival in New York City, a friend of her father came to visit them at their apartment in Brooklyn. He took Shabnam to explore her new neighborhood and took photos of her along the way. What this friend said sounded very new and interesting to the little girl: this was a welcoming photo session – to welcome her into this new community to start a new life in New York City. Every newly-arrived child, Shabnam was told, wherever she or he came from, was afforded the same privilege — and this was New York!

That man was Danny Goldfield, a Connecticut-born, New York-based photographer. He was taking photos of Shabnam for his project "NYChildren," the goal of which is to photograph one child from each country on the Earth who lives in New York City. He started in 2004 and has photographed children from 170 countries as of March 2011.

The genesis of the project was Goldfield's meeting in 2003 with Rana, a Sikh in Arizona who had lost his brother to a hate crime in front of their family-owned gas station four days after the Sept. 11 attacks. Rana said his family's response to the violence and the associated discrimination was not to run away and hide themselves but rather to reach out to those in their community who did not know them.

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