Ghost Children Project – Child Labour and Poverty In the USA

Today our senses can be numbed to the suffering of people in distant lands despite frequent exposure in the media. We hear about child labour and abuse but somehow the terrible reports lose their impact when sandwiched between the latest horror movie and a celebrity shock ‘divorce’ announcement. In today’s ‘Ghost Children‘ report I produce some images of child suffering in the west – images that shocked a nation into making legislative changes to stop the abuse. Perhaps they will help you to remember that this kind of ill-treatment of children is still common in some parts of the world.

Afghan Girl Begging

Afghan Girl Begging

While you read the following article why not listen to my e-baroque compositions – just click on the box below:

or if techno music is more your cup of tea here are my techno/ambient compositions:

I hope you find the information below interesting…please visit again.

I was recently very moved to see a report of a young Syrian refugee child living in Turkey who had been forced into child labour in order to help feed his family. He worked in a shoe factory cutting leather and constructing shoes – working under dangerous conditions with chemicals that were probably doing untold harm to his little body. Clearly any thought of education or spending time playing with other children had evaporated – his lost childhood makes him one of our modern world’s ‘Ghost Children‘.

Pennsylvania Mineworkers

Pennsylvania Mineworkers

This inspired me to create my latest audio-visual project which I have called ‘Ghost Children‘. Clearly I must respect the rights to privacy of modern children so to illustrate the plight of underage workers I turned to archive photographs of boys and girls in similar circumstances in the USA. Here I had no data privacy concerns because the children in my pictures would today have an average age of over 110. I believe it is safe to assume therefore that they have all departed from this life.

Oyster Workers Showing Off Their Tools

Oyster Workers Showing Off Their Tools

As most of the original photographs were from around 1910 or earlier it was necessary to digitally enhance them to make them suitable for the video. However despite their age the quality and detail of the original pictures was excellent. Whenever I look at the faces of the children in the photographs I feel they are sitting in the room with me. They may have died long ago but their presence lives on through these pictures.

The challenge for me was to compose a piece of music that adequately captured the deep sadness I felt at this enforced loss of childhood. So much innocent fun and opportunity had been taken away from these little boys and girls. To capture my mood I prepared the visual part of the project first and then simply added the music, track by track, – inspired by the images I saw. Quite simply the music was created for and ‘with’ the ghost children. Here is the video:

It is easy to be distracted by the smiling faces – but take a look at how many of those laughing children were not wearing shoes, or had clothes that were quite simply dirty old rags. On this page I have included a few stills from the video (there are many more in the film). To see larger versions simply click on the photos below. I will stop writing here and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Chris Duggleby

Young Butcher With 'Occupational' Hand Injury

Young Butcher With ‘Occupational’ Hand Injury

Guess Who Delivers Lunch?

A young Mill worker in Columbus (Eagle and Pheonix Mill). Photo digitally enhanced by CD from 1913 original by Lewis Wickes Hine

Searching The Local Trash For 'Valuable' Left-overs.

Searching The Local Trash For ‘Valuable’ Left-overs.

Mill Workers In Macon - Prized For Their Agility (Especially When The Machines Are Moving)

Mill Workers In Macon – Prized For Their Agility (Especially When The Machines Are Moving)

Mending Clothes is a Family Business

Mending Clothes is a Family Business

Boys Working at Midnight in the Glassworks

Boys Working at Midnight in the Glass-works

You Would Never Guess How Good Little Boys are at Making Flowers

You Would Never Guess How Good Little Boys are at Making Flowers

All the pictures above are over 100 years old - this one is from modern Bangladesh

All the pictures above are over 100 years old – this one is from modern Bangladesh

If you found this article interesting please consider taking a look at some of his other recent reports on similar subjects.

Just click on the titles below:

…starting with some more serious stuff:

12th June 2016 Hospital Serial Killer – Super Bugs Created With Jumping Genes During Bacterial Sex

31st May 2016 Linking Poverty to Depression – Genes of Poorer Adolescent Children Permanently Labelled for Depressive Behaviour

21st May 2016 Skin Cancer and Cataracts From Your Car – Poor UV Side Protection – Windows Tested From 15 Vehicle Makers

19th April 2016 Torture In The Shower – Face and Body Soap Allergies – Main Suspect: Pears Transparent Soap

14th March 2016 Eliminating Noisy Commuter Calls – Cheap Cell Phone Jammers – Hidden Costs:

13th March 2016 Bugs Evolve That Can Eat PET Plastics Used In Bottles And Textiles

3rd March 2016 Using Gene Drives To Change Mosquito Sex In Fight Against Zika, Dengue and Malaria

1st March 2016 Ladies – upto half a satisfying sexual event per month but risk of side effects from “Pink Viagra” Flibanserin (“Addyi”)

14th Feb 2016 Breast Cancer – How Blind People Use Their Enhanced Tactile Sensitivity to Save the Lives Of Women With Tumours

3rd Feb 2016 Zika Infection Spread By Sex In Dallas – Earlier Sexual Transmission In Colorado – Detailed Symptoms 

1st Feb 2016 Sexual Competition Between Women – Ovulation Can Be Seen In The Face

31st Jan 2016  Bed Bugs – Insecticide Resistance – Arbovirus Transmission – Zika and Microcephy

19th Jan 2016 ZIKA Virus Epidemic  – Health Warning – Pregnant women should postpone travel to affected areas – Including Brazil 

17th Jan 2016 Bubonic Plague Special – Lice – Hosts for The Black Death Bug

13th Jan 2016 Kill Head Lice In A Day With The Newly Developed Plasma Nitcomb From The German Fraunhofer Institute

8th Jan 2016 Cancer from Handbags, Shoes and Gloves – Allergic Reactions to Jewellery – German Institute Identifies Excessive Chromium 6 and Nickel Levels

26th July 2015 Poison in your Washing Machine: Allergic Contact Dermatitis from Laundry Detergents, Softeners, Conditioners and Whiteners

17th October 2015: Health Risk: Vitamin and antioxidant supplements help cancer cells become malignant – latest research from Texas

31st May 2015: German Concern about Potentially Carcinogenic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Cosmetics  

29th December 2012: Spreading diarrhea and vomit through the washing machine– The Norovirus propagator in our kitchen

and here are some fun related articles:

19th March 2016: JoggersHow To Stop Dogs Chasing You – Research Into New Pet Friendly Technology

9th March 2016: Penis Ring Emergency – German Fire Fighters Rescue Man From Painful 13 Cock Ring Torture: Vorsprung durch Technik and erectile dysfunction

4th March 2016: Dachau Industry Park Evolves From Concentration Camp To Nudist Wellness Club (Brothel)

21st June 2015: Bio-undies: Guilt free Passion with ‘Easy Emma’ and ‘Loose Harry’and Getting Rid of Garden Snails with Rent-a-Duck

4th March 2015: Hamburg Reeperbahn (St. Pauli): Germans install walls that urinate on passers-by

17th April 2014: Niche On-line Dating Services (Specialities: Herpes, Thrush and Genital Warts)

18th March 2014: Germany and Finland Joint Investigation: New Case of Sexual Cannibalism Including Self-mutilation (Castration) During Intercourse.

18th August 2012: How Bavarians and Austrians use their middle finger – Fingerhakeln: a men-only sport (did Arnold Schwarzenegger start training this way?).

You can also find some of my more humorous reports in the Alpine Press section of this site using the link here.


Please share your comments on the site. Thanks - Chris

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