As another has said this isn't a found image. It's not photojournalism. However it hasn't been done for sheer gratuitous effect. Some viewers will be able to read more into it than others but there are certainly recognisable messages. The mother is in total despair. Her nakedness may indicate utter poverty and/or inability to carry on. She's in such despair/ depression that she cannot be bothered to dress. The child is naked for a different reason. Here it represents innocence and the sleeping means that it has no worries as children don't even in desperate circumstances. This makes the scene very poignant. You worry for both, especially for the child because its safety and well being depends on a mother who may no longer be able to provide it.

They seem all alone. You assume that they have no support but the fact that it is contrived gives you some comfort. It isn't real. It's an allegory.

Bert Hardy took a number of shots in Glasgow just after WWII of working class life .One shot is of a woman and her daughter in waht is a rundown one room flat. The daughter is probably in her early teens. The room is bare.They have nothing. The father is sleeping off a drunken night, doesn't work and spends what little money they have on drink. The state of the room is terrible. The mother looks beaten by life. The daughter's look says that it may have just dawned on her that her life is going to be exactly the same as her mother's.

The photo by Wynn Bullock tends to have more immediate impact than the Bert Hardy shot but I find the Hardy one much more depressing.

This shot allows a civilised intellectual dinner party/ gallery discussion. The Bert Hardy one doesn't. It shouts at you and silences you. There is little to be said.

pentaxuser