Human Rights: Sweat-shop labour, no laughing matter?

The perpetuation of labor abuse in the developing world has played on my consciousness since I first learned about the phenomenon as a teenager. I avoid brands which are known offenders like the plague, and do what I can to compensate by making FairTrade purchases, mostly coffee and textiles. I attempted a creative response some years later by starting to make an animated film addressing the disconnection between creator, consumer and profiteer, but to date it remains incomplete. I never once considered the topic prime ribs for a comical treatment… until now!

With social and environmental issues falling in and out of the pop-cultural spotlight regularly, I was pleased to discover this hilarious and equally disturbing piece courtesy of The Onion News Network (NY)’s online video department. My only beef with the piece is its omission of the most despicable link in the chain… the CEO’s upstream, in affluent developed countries who make decisions on where to set up shop based on the level of desperation and deflation of any prospective nation’s economy.

With this oversight, the piece seems somewhat incomplete (dare I say, sanitised) but nevertheless, it hits some runs. The production team gets us laughing about a taboo subject and leave us feeling queasy at the end of the ride. Ah, bless The Onion and its many layers.

New Portable Sewing Machine Lets Sweatshop Employees Work On The Go


Animation: Classic techniques are alive and well

My recent absorption into the world of Twitter has led me to some interesting places, and among other things, rekindled my passion for the animation artform. Emily Dodge, animator and blogger at ReelAlive has posted a few beautiful discoveries on her site, two of which I will repost here. Coming from the font of creativity that lies in Europe’s outer reaches, these two films are wonderful examples of storytelling without the need for dialogue or verbal comprehension of any kind. They are beautiful, illustrative, poetic and captivating… as you will see below.

It is rare to see an animated film told in a single character’s POV. The above work uses this technique to great effect.

The element that makes the above animation so lyrical in my opinion is the artist’s observational skill. Subtle details turn the loosely sketched children into flesh and blood, perhaps even more palpably emotive than their ‘real life’ counterparts. We are blessed to see contemporary animation that harks back to the analog age and delivers so deftly!