My final year project explores the reality of modern slavery in West Africa through the perspective of a fictional child slave from the cocoa farms of Cote d’Ivoire. It aims to: • Raise awareness about modern slavery (slavery in the 21st century) • Focus on the cocoa industry • Educate readers that we unknowing support slave trade: cocoa products we buy
Background: The perceptions of slavery in many people’s minds today are still shaped by what it was in the past. Thus, it was essential to challenge that view and help them understand how slavery now look like in the 21st century. Many, including myself will never have believed as a consumer we could be linked to child labor and trafficking through our purchases.
Step one was to research on the general public’s consciousness on modern slavery and what their views on slavery were. Their responses were then tackle and the language of the content was tailored to communicate the message more effectively to the target audience. Deeper research into the issue of modern slavery brought a number of paths to highlight and the route that I felt would carry a stronger message was the product of slavery. Cocoa was chosen primarily because of our high daily consumption of products that contains cocoa. It also carries alarming facts of child labour especially in West Africa and the publication focuses on the largest exporter of cocoa beans- Cote d’Ivoire.
The concept of unpacking modern slavery in the cocoa industry from a child’s slave point of view is addressed predominantly through the viewer’s interaction with the book. Its exterior takes on the appearance of a chocolate bar with the wrapper introducing the title. The colour palette captures the colours of the flag of Cote d’Ivoire (White, Green, Orangey-Red). A texture was applied leaving no pages an absolute white, adding a distress look to how the nation is tainted with slavery.
How then can we enjoy the benefit of cocoa if we know someone else is suffering from our enjoyment?
The content was written from a first person’s point of view, a fictional character but from actual facts from a 5-part BBC Panorama Investigation series called “The Bitter Truth". The publication shed some light on three major factors: the dependency on cocoa, poverty and culture; and the impact of what Fairtrade help the public be wiser consumers.
These five sections were turned into an equation to show how these problem + solution work together. Each envelope is designed to replica a folded shirt and the title as a shirt label. The viewer opens and pulls out a folded 2-sided card, which display the additional information about that topic.
Factor #1: The nation's dependency on cocoa.
Factor #2: The nation's state of poverty
Factor #3: The nation's culture of the absence of children's education.
Fairtrade: How to be wiser consumers by supporting Fairtrade
The future: Challenge to make a difference, starting today.
This time, I tried wrapping the book with a brown pillowcase, which did not work quite as well because of its quality. I had to wrap 2 layers; although brown buckrum would have been ideal, but cost and time did not allow it.
Designs were printed on various paperstock and in different weight (glossy, matte, textured) to gain the best color and texture.