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KIDS PLAY. Martha Cooper.
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Фотограф Martha Cooper.

This 6 minute documentary – originally produced for MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour in 1984 — features a photographic project by Martha Cooper who began driving around the Lower East Side as a photographer for the New York Post back in 1977. Her photographs reveal a neighborhood of stressed 6 story walk-ups, housing projects, boarded up buildings and vacant lots strewn with garbage. But that’s not the subject.

“I began concentrating on what kids were doing when adults weren’t around.” She discovered a complex and fanciful world of children’s play there.

“I began to see all these creative things that kids were doing in the streets and empty lots with minimal materials. They proved you didn’t need complicated playgrounds and a lot of expensive toys to have fun. The first toy that got me thinking was an airplane made from two pieces of found wood and a nail.”

Cooper documents handmade toys, “houses,” and all sorts of fun stuff. “I became interested in the fantasizing that kids do with minimal props and how they constructa life apart from adults. I was interested in this fantasy play rather than games with rules.”



Cheryl Dunn on Martha Cooper - New York Street Photography: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4gRQnL-b9s