The blog of Tokyo based photographer and photojournalist, Damon Coulter

At What Cost

Tokyo is famously one of the most expensive cities in the world, though London where I`m from is even more so ; and yet many of the things we think of as highly priced are actually much cheaper than they would be if the people producing them in the developing world for us were paid fairly for their time and effort. That they aren`t, and that intimidation and abuse is carried out (with impunity it seems) to keep them working as virtual slaves for us is one of life`s great hidden atrocities.

But it is less hidden now thanks to one of the top photographers working here in Tokyo, James Whitlow Delano, who is part of the team of AT WHAT COST: a travelling exhibition featuring photographs, writing and audio recordings, that highlights the struggle for survival that ten workers (many only children) have daily to keep us here in the west happy with our cheap coffee and sugar sweet snacks.

I don`t know if it will be swinging by Tokyo when it opens in 2010, I hope so and as James is based here it would be a shame if it didn`t, but meanwhile check out some of the images and  stories on the website here.

Got to go sons are destroying my desk!!



One response

  1. Interesting post and bloody great photos. Have a read of “Open World: The truth about globalisation”. Picked up a copy while waiting for connecting flight and finding myself with nowt to read. Coffee table economics, but compelling arguements for globalisation. The exhibition title “At what cost?” seems to be the perfect subtitle. A book with both would be interesting too.

    July 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm

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