Grandparents and Grandchildren by Nicolás Marino

Originally from Argentina, Nicolás Marino is an architect and photographer who travels the world by bicycle, specifically around remote regions, in the pursuit of the cultures and sub-cultures that in one way or another resist the globalization process, either by deliberately trying to preserve their traditional values or by being marginalized by the system. Due to the nature of traveling by bicycle, Nicolás is able to relate very intimately to the places he visits thus spending most of his time in nature and with the local people, which is where he focuses most of his interest.

The more I traveled the world, the more I realized that due to different conditions, Grandparents are being parents again. Why? Because parents these days, in most big cities in the world, but also in the rural world, have to spend most of their time away from home trying to make a living, in many cases to the point of barely being able to see their children at all. This varies from country to country and culture to culture. For example, In Africa and some parts of Asia (like Mongolia) the parents are usually very busy working the land. In Africa they are also taking care of several basic tasks like bringing water from the wells, collecting firewood for fire, and several other things. In Mongolia, the youngest are out usually taming horses or herding goats and cattle. In Africa it is very typical for kids to grow up with their grandparents basically because they all live together. So even when the parents are present throughout the day, it is the grandparents who look after them. In Africa, everybody is there for his/her family, it is the extended family concept. Sometimes the grandmothers are not biological, sometimes they are grandmothers to the children of other families because they are indeed considered family.

When I realized about this I started focusing on this bond between grandparents and grandchildren, it becomes very strong, very loving.

By the way, the grandmothers of the Central African Republic are Bayaka pygmies. In pygmy society it is very common for children to be nursed by both mother or grandmother alike.

By the way, the grandmothers of the Central African Republic are Bayaka pygmys. In pygmy society it is very common for children to be nursed by mother and/or grandmother alike.

All photos by Nicolás Marino