While we live in a world clouded by misinformation and confusion, some persist in their bid for peace and emphasize the idea that we are all equal despite being ethnically different. Differences melt and fade into the world of the young who have a lot more in common deep down despite where they grew up and how they were brought up.
Australian photographer Vivien Allender has been traveling the globe to get acquainted with teens and preteens around the world. Kuwait was one of her stops. Vivien is a photographic artist, an educator and an inspiration seeker. She came to Kuwait in coordination with a Kuwaiti friend who introduced her to a group of kids. “I found Kuwaiti children sweet, smart, well-mannered and vibrant. My friend Farah introduced me to some Kuwaiti tweens and teens. Teens are fascinating. So much goes on in the years between childhood and adulthood!” Vivien told Kuwait Times. She noticed that while dealing with this age group, the younger ones are less difficult to photograph, while the older girls tend to care more about their image. “Older girls are at least more concerned with their looks. I asked them to come in their natural and casual state, but many girls ended up wearing makeup. They don’t know their natural beauty! I think they’ll only understand the power of their own natural beauty when they get older,” Vivien explained.
The work of the Global T(W)eens Project is artistically directed by Italian coordinator Serena Uberti, who met Vivien in New York City 20 years ago. Vivien has visited Italy, Japan, Australia, US, Germany, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Britain, Argentina, Russia and Kuwait. More countries are expected to be visited. Kids are asked to wear casual clothes and be themselves, and are photographed in their own environment. The project, which was launched from Italy, will return to be exhibited in the same place approximately next year. Vivien hopes that their work will help to invoke awareness Photos by Vivien Allender Kuwait participates in Global T(W)eens Project of common grounds and the contrast between teenagers and preteens worldwide and their perceptions of what they will be in the future. Just like anyone who experiences the hot summer of Kuwait, Vivien had been a little shocked. “The heat is not for me!” she exclaimed. “However, the people I met were all kind, warm and generous of spirit. Just outside Kuwait City is a desert landscape full of seemingly endless rows of electricity pylons and the mushroom-like blue and white striped water towers. Both form a brilliant visual which I Vivien Allender would love to photograph,” she added.