Winter Update #2
Media Voices for Children introduces a new documentary photo exhibit and online action kit, Beneath the Barcode.
January saw the debut of our new photo exhibit, Beneath the Barcode, at the West Tisbury Library here on the island. The place was packed and the gallery show remained a focal point for many visitors who stayed, read the accounts of child slaves and took away the print version of our Action Kit.
On the island, portions of the show are now on exhibit at the West Tisbury School, April finds the exhibit moving into classes at Martha's Vineyard Charter School. Our plans are nothing short of continually updating and circulating the exhibit, with companion speakers, to all Vineyard Schools, AceMV, our wonderful libraries and to any and all interested audiences.
Built around the remarkable photography of our co-founder Robin Romano, Beneath the Barcode presents images and the underlying stories of children trapped in child labor and forced labor in the production of the food we eat, what we wear, purchase and dispose of. The exhibit examines the baseline causes of child labor: poverty, prejudice, poor policy and profiteering, and offers options we can apply to our personal buying choices through the Action Kit, available online here, where you can also preview the exhibit's images.
In the first month, besides our Vineyard premiere, Beneath the Barcode found its way to 6th, 7th and 8th grade classes in Neptune, New Jersey and also formed an integral part of Blind Spots, a two year project on human trafficking that is currently on display at The Studios of Key West. Georgia and I traveled to Neptune to make the presentations. Talking to 6th graders about child labor is as close as I get to being a rock star. They are so eager to roll up their sleeves and so ready to learn. It was fun and I learned from them what matters about all of this to them. They have their own opinions and a million questions.
In Key West, a vibrant human rights community packed the opening for Blind Spots, meticulously produced by our dear friend Erika Biddle. The most heartening piece of it all was the involvement of dozens and dozens of activist students, making art, writing essays and contributing to the turnout. Just an uplifting and hopeful way to spend time... I'm so glad we went. The show remains on view, during tourist prime time, in the center of Key West for another week.