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Marlboro Boys | Freelance Photographer: Michelle Siu

Marlboro Boys | Freelance Photographer: Michelle Siu | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

As smoking regulations in North America get stricter, the number of smokers, especially among younger generations, are in decline. If Mad Men taught us anything, it’s that smoking is not nearly as common as it used to be. In some circles, it can even be seen as taboo. Considering these changing habits of North Americans, it’s incredibly startling to see the recent series by Toronto based photographer Michelle Siu. For Marlboro Boys, she travelled to Indonesia to document the shocking reality of young smokers.

It’s easy to begin smoking when it’s presence is everywhere. As the fifth largest tobacco market in the world, Indonesians are bombarded with ever-present advertising targeting youth and easy access to cheap cigarettes (about one dollar a pack). The industry is closely tied to the country’s economy and that industry relies on consumption. What’s most alarming, is that the habit is forming early. According to a recent study, the number of children smokers aged 10 to 14 has doubled over the past 20 years, and has tripled for those ages five to nine.

Photo report's insight:

"Indonesia’s relationship with tobacco is complex. Cheap cigarettes, ubiquitous advertising, a powerful lobby with tight political connections and lack of law enforcement fuels a national addiction. 

 

Indonesia holds one of the world’s highest rates of male smokers and it often begins at a young age. Boys are growing up in an environment where demand for tobacco is strong and foreign tobacco giants such as Marlboro maker Philip Morris, are establishing themselves as smoking rates decline in other countries. 

 

With the fifth largest tobacco market internationally, the industry is tied to the country’s economy and that industry relies on consumption. Indonesia remains one of the few countries that has not joined the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of the World Health Organization which aims “to protect present and future generations from the devastating health, social, environmental and economic consequences of tobacco consumption and exposure to tobacco smoke.” 

 

Young smokers begin the cycle of addiction but at a health cost for generations to come. The juxtaposition of young boys smoking like seasoned addicts is jarring yet this project is intended to not only shock and inform viewers but to demonstrate the lack of enforcement of national health regulations and to question the country’s dated relationship with tobacco." - MICHELLE SIU

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Ludruk | Photographer: Diego Verges

Ludruk | Photographer: Diego Verges | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

Ludruk is a theatrical genres of East Java in Indonesia. It's a form of traditional performance presented by a troupe of actors on a stage, re-telling the life stories of everyday people and their struggles.

 

Most of the characters were performed by male actors who take the roles of women, but more recently, the sketches and farces feature mostly contemporary domestic stories, and have become commercial entertainment popular with urban and rural working-class audiences. 

 

Diego Verges has produced a comprehensive photo essay on the Ludruk and as well as environmental portraits and scenes of these performers. Ludruk is a must-see for my readers as it merges portraiture, documentary and travel-ethnography photography, and also visually documents an art for that could well vanish in the years to come.  udiences

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The Masked Monkeys of Indonesia | Photographer: Ed Wray

The Masked Monkeys of Indonesia | Photographer: Ed Wray | PHOTOGRAPHERS | Scoop.it

For the past ten years, Ed Wray has been a photographer for the Associated Press, based in several capitals in Southeast Asia, most recently as Chief photographer in Jakarta. He approaches his work with a keen eye toward transformational situations – “in between” states where people are affected by the energies that change a situation from what was to what will be. We asked him about his Monkey Town series which he photographed in Jakarta.

 

Ed Wray was terrified the first time he encountered a masked monkey. Having lived and worked in Jakarta as a freelance photographer for years, he was accustomed to seeing the animals, cruelly leashed by chains, jumping through hoops or riding trikes on the sidewalks. But for Wray, the mask was a terrifying twist.

 

“When I first saw a monkey with a rubber baby doll’s head stuck over its head as a mask, it immediately struck me as horrifying and beyond weird.” Wray said. “Something about the combination of the doll head – which I think is scary looking to begin with – and a long tail just struck a chord in me.”

 

Read more: http://lightbox.time.com/2011/05/25/the-masked-monkeys-of-indonesia/#ixzz29skcYoSZ

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