See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Childhood Play Remains Technology Free by Brazil’s ‘Old Frank’ River

A girl and her doll, in Xique-Xique city, Bahia. Photo by Markileide Oliveira, published with permission.

A girl and her imaginary doll in Xique-Xique, Bahia. Image by Markileide Oliveira, published with permission.

Markileide Oliveira‘s photos portray the daily life of the population of Xique-Xique, a small town located on the banks of the São Francisco River, in the backwoods of the state of Bahia – one of the most arid regions of Brazil. The “Velho Chico” (“Old Frank”), as the river is popularly known, is one of the most important rivers of the country, running through five states and providing much of the livelihood in areas that are unsuitable for agriculture.

Markileide says she is especially fond of the local children, whose universe remains untouched by technological development:

Em meio a modernidade do século XXI e o mundo virtual que abraçam as novas gerações, existe uma infância que sobrevive aos impactos das novas tecnologias. A inocência das crianças que nascem na beira do rio causa em mim um encantamento inexplicável, percebe-se que a felicidade vive no imaginário das crianças ribeirinhas, onde é possível sentir a boneca imaginária que vive nos sonhos dessa menina que posa para fotografia.  

Simplesmente linda.
 
Longe das tecnologias elas aprendem a sentir, a viver e ser criança. E brincar… 
De boneca, de casinha, de se esconder, de salva latinha, de pegar piaba com o lençol da mãe e depois soltar para vê-las nadar e ganhar o rio, brincar de lavar as louças só para [dar] comidinhas aos peixes…
 
… As nossas memórias parecem ganhar vida. 
 
 É possível reviver as lembranças de quem viveu uma infância na beira do rio.

Amidst the modernity of the 21st century and the virtual world that embraces the new generations, there is a childhood that survives the impact of new technologies. The innocence of the riverbank children brings me an inexplicable enchantment; you realize that happiness lives in the imagination of local children, where you can feel the imaginary doll who lives in the dreams of this girl posing for the photo.

Just beautiful.

Away from technology, they learn to feel, to live and be a child. And to play…
With the doll, doll's house, hide and seek, using their mother's bed sheets to grab the little fish and then let it go to see it swimming and taking on the river, pretending to be washing dishes just to give tidbits to the fish…

… Our memories seem to come alive.

  It's possible to relive the memories of those who spent their childhood by the riverbank.

Childhood Xique Xique

Portrait of Childhood, “Old Frank's Riverside Community” series. Image by Markileide Oliveira, published with permission

More photos of Xique-Xique by Markileide can be seen on her Facebook page.

Our work building bridges across cultures, languages and perspectives is more urgent than ever before.

Learn more about Global Voices »

Donate now

Close