Given the unforgiving August heat, most people were keeping to the shade of the trees in a nearby plaza. These boys, however, were playing football with a foam buoy. Juan Carlos Castañeda had sought out shade, too, and a bottle of water, having wrapped filming for the day. He was in Cité Soleil, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to shoot a short film on the community and its leaders.
“The kids in the picture were only 12, and they live in Haiti’s poorest and most dangerous neighbourhood. None of them can afford proper shoes or a ball to play with – they’re not even sure when they’ll get their next meal,” Castañeda says. “However, when they discovered this yellow buoy, they became Messi, scoring a goal in the World Cup and, just for a second, leaving the heaviness of their lives behind.”
Having finished work for the day, Castañeda hadn’t planned this shot. He also didn’t want to interrupt or distract the boys with his big video camera, he says, adding, “They were also on their break.” Instead, he used his iPhone 6 Plus.
“The best camera in the world is the one you have with you at the time,” he says, “and sometimes the phone can make faster decisions than I can when approaching time-sensitive moments such as these. I hope this photograph shows how resilient and untarnished the human spirit is, and that it offers a moment of hope.”