Just a little background info, im in my final year of high school, and looking to do journalism. Please have a look and tell me what you think. This was for an English essay thing:


Naivety will be the death of us
By Jon Edwards (Blot)
There is a major problem with the citizens of Planet Earth. Most are naive, oblivious and unaware to the confronting, caliginous, criminal acts that are plaguing our society. Images such as the ones viewed in the photo essay “Born to Work” taken by GMB Akjash, help challenge societies dominant view, and confronts those who are oblivious to issues such as poverty and child labour. These images are reinforced by popular current affair programs, such as “Four Corners” on ABC, which portray images and footage of poverty and child labour, once again confronting the naive. Visual texts have the ability to challenge dominant ideologies by portraying confronting, challenging issues surrounding our everyday lives.
Children are often described as “the future”. Those who will be our leaders, our businessmen, our politicians and our sporting superstars. But the fact remains that this is the future of our planet, yet there are children who are already working in mines, factories and farms. The image of the young girl working in a brick factory and Four Corners report Chocolate: The Bitter Truth challenge the ways of viewing children in our society. As Australians, we normally perceive the average child, to be playing with toys or on a playground have been contrasted with the young girl breaking bricks into rubble and “Fatao, [a] 12 year old [boy], each day he works with a machete harvesting cocoa beans”. These texts both portray the criminal, confronting issue of child labour. Through the use of clothing in the image of the young girl, we know that she is in a situation of poverty. Her ragged, torn, dirty dress and her bandana, symbolise her context, and where she comes from. This shows us that she may need to work in order to survive. This is reinforced by Chocolate: The Bitter Truth, which portrays children that are forced to work in a cocoa farm. “They can’t leave, they don’t get to go to school, they’re using hazardous tools, they’re exposed to chemicals. And they are not having a normal childhood, and you can see that in their eyes, they’re vacant. These kids are prisoners, they’re slaves”. This challenges the normality of children, children are meant to go to school, to play and be safe, instead of being forced to work. This challenges the way, we as Australians, see the world and the countries which surround us, countries which are restrained by poverty, and nearly forced into child labour. We need to ask ourselves, how can we help? And what can we do to stop this from occurring?


As an Australian, it is my moral obligation to help those in need, both in our nation and those struggling overseas. This moral obligation is reinforced by the visual texts which convey the importance of international aid, and helping those who are in desperate, dire and drastic need of help. The visual texts both show people who are in poverty, forced slavery and doing anything for survival, challenging the way we view business’s these issues are directly related to. I myself, have never wondered how a cocoa bean was harvested, and I have never even thought that children as young as ten were being forced to harvest this tiny bean, in order for me to have a treat. Chocolate: The Bitter Truth opened my eyes and changed the way I viewed the world, how I was also just as naive as the majority of citizens living in a developed nation. “60% of the worlds cocoa is farmed in the Ivory Coast and Ghana.... 30% of children living in sub-Saharan Africa are child labourers in cocoa farms”. That was the statistic that did it for me, changed the way I see people, and the way I view the chocolate industries which profit off this general disregard for not just human life, but children under the age of 15. These children who haven’t experience what every child should, the comfort only a mother can give, the protection only a father can provide, the love only a family can share. What is it we are really depriving these children of?
As citizens of this planet, citizens who once were naive, but are now consciously aware of the constant issues of poverty and child labour. The visual texts Chocolate: The Bitter Truth, and the image of the young Bangladeshi girl, both challenged our naive, oblivious and unaware view of society, and the issues that surrounded our everyday lives. It has been said that it is inevitable and naive to promise a stop to poverty, poverty which creates child labour, destroys families, creates inequality between humans and destroys lives. But I ask; why shouldn’t we try?