We associate chocolate with celebration, comfort, romance. But do we ever associate it with the farmers – and often children – who literally make the product possible? West Africa produces almost three quarters of the world’s cocoa, 70% of which is consumed in Europe and North America. More than 2 million child labourers work on cocoa plantations in Ghana and the Ivory Coast alone. Who are these children and why do they do this work? BITTER Chocolate Stories sheds light on these questions. Combining portraits of 15 former child labourers and interviews with the children and other actors in the industry, the exhibition and book provide an insight into the complexities of a product many of us take for granted.
In collaboration with Tony’s Chocolonely and Paradox, K&H conceptualised and designed the campaign, website, exhibition and publication for BITTER Chocolate Stories to raise awareness about child labour in the cocoa industry. Everyone in the chocolate chain – cocoa farmers, chocolate companies, retailers, governments and consumers – has a responsibility to tackle child labour, according to the organisers, and informing a wide public of the problem is the first step to achieving that.
Bitter Chocolate Stories
Client: Tony’s Chocolonely
Year: 2017 – 2021 (travelling exhibition)
Concept: Paradox, Kummer & Herrman
Portrait Photography: Joana Choumali
Texts: Marijn Heemskerk
Graphic design: Kummer & Herrman
Exhibition design: Kummer & Herrman, Paradox
Awards: Bronze Lamp, ADCN, 2018