I thought the days of abused oppressed slaves growing our cotton ended with the Civil War. But basically I just hadn't taken the time to find out the truth. The latest issue of Ode Magazine
had a disturbing photojournalism essay by French photographer Johann Rousselot about cotton growers in India. The cost of growing cotton is high. The pesticides now needed to ward off resistant bugs kill many of the workers. It is so hard to grow, to obtain seeds (since they can't hold over any from last season), and to make a living that many of the farmers have sold their farms and ended up in huge personal debt. Their answer to the crises - suicide. Set themselves on fire, hang themselves... Cotton is earning the new name - the suicide crop. In certain regions in India last year there was a cotton farmer committing suicide on average every eight hours. All so we can have our t-shirts.
Read more of the story and see the photo slide show here
Labels: Social Justice