Latina photojournalist Paola Gianturco’s latest work, recently released in hardback and e-book, introduces the rest of the world to “Grandmother Power: A Global Phenomenon.”
While on a trip to Africa several years ago Gianturco saw how grandmothers were assuming new roles because of AIDS. As a grandmother, Gianturco was especially touched and looked for similar situations in other countries. She ended up traveling to 15 countries on five continents, where she met and chronicled the activities of 120 “activist” grandmothers, according to a recent article from LatinaLista,com, a national media partner of CTLatinoNews.com.
Argentina grandmothers instill in children a love of reading and books and continue their 40-year search for grandchildren who were kidnapped during the nation’s military dictatorship. Guatemalan grandmothers operate a hotline and teach parenting.
Gianturco’s book also includes grandmothers in Canada, Swaziland, and South Africa caring for AIDS orphans. Grandmothers in Senegal convinced communities to stop female genital mutilation. Grandmothers in India became solar engineers to light to their villages. Grandmothers in Peru, Thailand, and Laos keep tradition alive by weaving.
Irish grandmothers teach children to sow seeds and cook with fresh, local ingredients. Filipino grandmothers demand justice for having been forced into sex slavery during World War II. Israeli grandmothers monitor checkpoints to prevent abuse and a United Arab Emirates television show stars four animated grandmothers shocked by modern life.
Gianturco says the “Grandmother phenomenon” could be due to a number of factors, including the fact that women are outliving men and they’re more educated, healthier and younger than in the past.