Small-scale manufacturers and workshops in Istanbul

When I was in Istanbul two months ago, I was struck by how many handmade household goods there were for sale at the grand bazaar. I always wondered what the makers’ studios look like, how the goods were made, and if the makers worked in fair conditions.

I found out recently that my friend, Rezzan, spent time this spring studying the exploitation of underground metal-smiths and woodworkers in Istanbul for her graduate thesis at Sabanci University. She worked hard to find and contact these workers, who don’t often publicize where they hone their craft. Most of them have worked in their industry for 30+ years, starting as apprentices and rising to become masters of their craft. Her photography reveals old and young people who work tirelessly to produce quality goods in all kinds of environments. All images are Copyright Rezzan Hasoglu.

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“The Challenge to Make Chocolate Child Labour Free”

I just found these videos, and I’m incredibly sad to hear that 300,000 children are employed on cocoa plantations where they work in conditions that expose them to toxic pesticides and injury. It seems that so much of what we consume these days is part of a system that involves exploitation of human labor. The socio-economic imbalance that capitalism spawns is something that makes me question what we as a society really value.