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O! Children! 23.11–14.12.2008

Kalle Brolin | Platform

In a near future, child labourers and working street children have formed their own unions. They refuse to be represented by adults and have organized to demand better working conditions – not an end to child labour. It’s a pragmatic adaptation of the present conditions, where families are dependent on the extra income (as are the street children). Even today there exists a trade union for child labourers in Peru (Manthoc) and one for street children in India (Bal Mazdoor Sangh).

O! Children! adopts the uncomprehending outside perspective of the adults who look on and wish that things were different. The children themselves are not visible, only the traces left by them. In the exhibition at Platform, several works are included:
– a poster series, calling for participants in the first international gathering of trade unions for child labourers;
– a film showing night descending upon a slum where the singing of children can be heard from far away, intertwined with an agitated older worker and union activist attempting to comprehend the new youth;
– traces of a mobile print workshop of working street children, where they have been working on producing a mascot (mighty mouse Pico, printed with woodblocks) and a logo (the second star to the right, sewn over the original brands on different baseball caps).

Kalle Brolin is an artist from Sweden. He has had several solo- and group shows in Moscow, Kaliningrad, Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö, Köpenhamn, London, New York, Buenos Aires etc. He now works with social science fiction, which means identifying a marginal social trend or phenomenon and extending this into a near future scenario, which is then presented through speculative aesthetics.

While in Vaasa, he has met up with school children producing “time travels” to former factories, and has also been inspired by photos at the workers’ museum in Brändö.

More information on this and other works found at


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