old woman and young girl

found by rory ewins

I found these photographs while walking along a stretch of busy road in outer Melbourne that rarely sees a pedestrian. The originals are scratched, creased, and barely more than an inch wide. They have been cut roughly into passport size, from dark-grey-backed paper in the case of the old woman, white-backed (with '844' pencilled on the back) for the girl.

Who are they? I have no idea; grandmother and grand-daughter? The old woman looks Eastern European by her dress. I love her face: she has seen a lot, but there's warmth behind those down-turned eyes and mouth. The young girl is a blank slate, not yet worn down by time. The stamp on her photograph has the letters 'EION', which looks like the end of a Greek or Balkan place name. Are they refugees from the wars of Yugoslavia?

They're like pictures from a history book, from a museum. Lying on the grass beside Upper Heidelberg Road, Sunday 11 February 2001.

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text ©2001 rory ewins, images © unknown