Tiny Toones Breakdances Seattle

May 1st, 2009

Tiny Toones is one of those “could’ve been bad” but is really an amazing story. In the States, an adult gang-banger gets arrested again, he happens to be a child refugee from Cambodia’s wars, he gets sent back to Cambodia, there he sees poverty and exploitation so he decides to start teaching break dancing to street kids. This leads to education and opportunity for them, it also provides a community and an escape from their poverty and circumstance. Photographer Stuart Isset is documenting Cambodian ‘returnees’ and comes across KK and his troupe of kids.

A few years later, with Stuart among the advocates, Tiny Toones comes to the U.S. for a fund raising tour. In Seattle they performed at the Wing Luke Asian Museum and at the Greenwood Collective with the Massive Monkeys. Photographer Charles Peterson was also there, having made a transition from documenting Seattle’s music scene (starting with the infamous grunge years) to breakdancing. He was generous enough to offer a print for auction.

See a short video clip of the break dancers doing their thing at my Tim Matsui Photo Facebook page.

And a couple more pix on the jump! (note: all media shot with the Canon G-10)

Below: Stuart auctions off a Charles Peterson photograph.

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