Thursday, March 19, 2009

bare bricks.

our capability to concentrate on text is overpowered by our visual message reception. art in addition to photo journalism work as powerful political media within the imagery we're bombarded with constantly in revealing the injustices of the world. i wrote earlier on a photo exhibition of the victims of wartime rape in rwanda, but new records of the daily lives of those worst off force me to return to the subject of global suffering.

the latest collection of pete pattisson tells the story of indian slavery, a state of being that differs very little from our intuition of a slave's life. pattisson photographed brick kiln workers who are unable to leave their place of work, punished severely for disobedience and whose subordination continues generations onwards.

in a liberalist mindset the kiln workers' form of slavery resists recognition because officially they are indebted to the kiln owner. the indian caste system, still very much alive, is dependent on abject labor of the dalit who are forced to borrow from others for survival and, hence, preordained into a life of slavery they often leave their children as the only inheritance. cultural customs prevent many actions on social justice where poverty and violence rule over equality. needless to say, pattisson's shots reveal an india of daunting injustice from underneath the current glazing of news on technological excellence.

his work on modern day slavery is on show at downham leisure centre, lewisham.

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