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December 04, 2003

Child Labor Around The World

Subject of photo-documentary exhibit at Gavilan College Hollister; Local writer is part of photo-journalism team

HOLLISTER, CA - Do you know who make the shirt you wear, or who made the soccer ball your soccer team pays with, or who harvested the vegetables you eat? Sometimes, the answer is: children. Photographs of child laborers around the world will be exhibited at the Briggs Gallery of Gavilan College, Hollister Campus, now through December 19. The gallery, located at the cross section of 4th and San Benito streets in Hollister, is open from 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. - 2 p.m and 6 p.m. - 8 p.m on Thursdays, and 8 a.m - 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Millions of children around the world work in hazardous and harmful conditions. Some make garments and soccer balls; the vast majority work in agriculture. Millions work as domestic maids, in private homes, where they may be subject to physical, sexual or psychological abuse.

Child labor is the result of a complex set of factors: poverty; lack of schools; poor health care; war; and many others. The stories are not always clear-cut: some work is acceptable, some is not. For example, some children work so that they can stay in school. The responsibility for helping child laborers may lie at many levels: international agencies, governments, schools, and families. Too often, photographs of child laborers do not describe these complexities.

In an attempt to understand this complex issue, and to mobilize concern and action, Julia Dean, a Los Angeles photographer, started the photo-documentary project: Child Labor & the Global Village--Photography for Social Change. Local writer Sarah (Sally) Bachman, is assistant director and chief reporter. Bachman, who lives in La Honda, formerly was a reporter and editorial writer for the San Jose Mercury News. Child Labor and the Global Village: Photography for Social Change is a team of 11 photographers who are photographing child workers around the globe. By photographing individual children in their worlds - their families, communities, countries - the team hopes to see behind the "child labor" label.

"We need to know who they are to know what they need," says the team's mission statement. Project founder Dean was inspired by the photography team sent out by the United States Farm Security Administration in the 1930s to document Depression conditions. The photos eventually will be exhibited around the country, and it is hoped they will be exhibited in the countries -- and to the children -- where the photographers traveled.

The exhibit is being run in conjunction with International Human Rights Day on December 10. On that day, Sarah Bachman will speak to journalism and photography classes about the project.

For more information about the exhibit contact Mark Fisher, Gavilan Briggs Gallery, e-mail mcfisher@ix.netcom.com
To view photos and learn more about the project, go to www.childlaborphotoproject.org .

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Last modified: August 17, 2011
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