Saturday, August 16, 2008
While in the city of Tampere in Finland last year, I came to see an exhibit of German photographer Michael Wolf. The title of the exhibit- The Real Toy Story- got my interest piqued.
When I reached the Vapriikki museum center, I came to know of The Real Toy Story through Mr. Wolf's 45-square meter installation art where at least 20,000 of the toys (just those with "faces," mind you) made by factory workers in China were represented. The toys are literally admixed with the Chinese workers' blood, sweat, and tears as they were subjected to almost inhuman working conditions in the production of these toys.
Most workers ate and slept no more than two inches away from their work stations. Under their tables, atop rolls of plastic scrap, contorted into impossible form they come to sleep. There were arrays of photos depicting workers who lost limbs as they engaged in these jobs that were far from being child's play.
If these toys were the ones that will make my life colorful, I'd rather live in a sea of gray drabness.