This will be another post where the pictures are not taken by me.
For people who may be concerned around how I use this platform, I did email the photoblog support staff originally, to see their thoughts around me using photo downloads to write about stuff. They were thankfully open to the idea. It is really a wonderful space to share so hopefully I am not breaking too many rules.
Above is the well know Orlando Bloom.
He partnered up with a photographer called Simon Lister through UNICEF to make a documentary film.
I just finished watching it; Tales by Light.
Anyone in this community would find the entire series very interesting.
I was particularly interested in the issue they were investigating though; Child Workers in Bangladesh.
Most of the pictures posted are in the article linked above, but the ones I could find I post here too.
We live in a bubble in the West.
We really really do.
Most of these children were not above eight.
These three were working in an Aluminium factory. They were breathing the dust fumes, and working around extremely dangerous machinery.
One of the boys rotated between one week Aluminium work, and the next week at a Balloon making factory.
The Balloon making factory was equally as lethal to their health.
Coloured toxic chemical dyes, and acidic mixtures, often burning their skin, daily routine sacrifices.
What saddened me whilst watching the programs was that I could not find human dignity in the situations.
There were other children carrying huge caseloads of weight on their necks and heads around shipping ports for basically richer, lazy people, who were okay with letting a seven year child try to break his spine so they did not have to carry their already too heavy suitcase. Who told them to pack so much?
And the worst part, is the children need this work. The richer, lazy people are truly helping them in a sense, because without these inhumane jobs, these people may be even worse off.
That is always the defending argument for why things should remain as they are.
This photo was poignant if you watch the documentary.
The children are laying down for the night, on a mattress on the floor, in a night shelter.
The boy who has his arms wrapped around the other, has no father. The father left. He works to support his mother who he loves very much. He is nine years old. He does not go to school. He is a child labourer stuck in the cycles of poverty.
Why do I get to sit on a sofa with a laptop and another face such hardships at an age no one should?
What decided I got this life and another so much more struggle? So much less childhood?
I cannot make peace with the way the world is.
I just cannot.
And often it is a waste of energy.
But I also know how powerful not giving people a voice is. Not looking.
Not feeling uncomfortable.
These things are what gives structural violence its power.
I do not know if a world utopia can be achieved.
But, while I live, I will always hope we can do better.
For real change to occur, the economic system needs to change.
Capitalism is simply not sustainable and will always produce inequality.
What could replace it is a very volatile conversation, but one which more and more people are having.
There is another very powerful documentary film called 'True Cost' if people have never come across it.
Here is a link to the trailer;
You have to watch the full movie to really be emotionally affected.
I'll warn you now, it was a changer for me.
I've had an internal conflict with the clothing industry ever since.
And now I learn something as simple as balloons also have a much darker history.
The truth is; the more you pay attention to this stuff, the more you realise how badly we have all been lied to.
Slavery still exists.
And its not just limited to Bangladesh.
Child Prostitution is growing in every developing country around the world with tourism and travel becoming easier and easier to richer global citizens.
I felt Orlando Bloom did okay in this documentary. The photographer I personally felt annoyed with at times, because he seemed to (at times) treat the children like objects in a project he was doing (which he was).
There was a scene where he was photographing a young girl, and he was speaking near her about her life and how she needs our help.
I'm not sure how much the girl could understand of the English, but I think children can pick up from the tone, the attitude, and so on, that there was an element of pity there.
It made me angry because that, does not help or benefit them.
We must be careful as to why we do what we do.
However, somebody does need to go into these areas, and bring the issues into the open.
And so, I support the work, I would just like to see more sensitivity to the issues and to human feelings within the International photography community.
There was another deeply tragic scene in the documentary. The picture above, although in Bangladesh, is not from the documentary footage.
A group of 5 or 6 (maybe 9 or 10 years of age) Bangladeshi children were spending time searching through rubbish dumps, barefoot, in toxic waste, to salvage scraps they could sell on to recycling centres.
That was their living.
At one point, the kids started playing.
Like children do.
They started shoving each other, play fighting, and falling over in the rubbish.
It was a beautiful scene.
Very nice to see they found moments of happiness and real deep friendships despite their surroundings.
I often find those people have something more precious than us sometimes with all our material wealth.
If no one was in poverty anymore, would we all loose that?
That depth of connection? There is only so much we can bond in our separate houses, hiding behind separate ego structures.
These people are stripped bare.
Their connections go deeper; just look at that boy hugging the other above. Like they would give their lives for each other.
There will be a way to maintain deep connections without the need for suffering in order for that to happen.
I will write about Plastic pollution in another post because it requires a post in itself.
As much as other topics make better dinner conversation, we have to start acknowledging we are part of these issues, whether we like it or not.
The industries forced upon us, with clever marketing...... hide the truth....
Of what it really costs, to live our lives the way we do.