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Sunset over Balsena

Shaishav is an organisation that works on the issue of child rights in the city of Bhavnagar in Gujarat, India. The main focus of our work is to empower children to be aware of the rights that they have and the rights that they, as children, deserve. We work with children from all backgrounds, but make special provisions for those who are more disadvantaged, especially girls.

Our regular activities include Balghar, a programme of informal schooling for children who are unable to attend regular school, Balsena and Tarunsena, our child and youth collectives, and circle point, where we visit different areas of the city; particularly those affected by the communal violence in 2002, and encourage play and discussion between children from different social and religious backgrounds.

A few weeks ago thousands of migratory flamingos descended upon the salt pans on the outskirts of the city. Many of the children that we work with are seriously affected by poverty, child labour and exploitation and scarcely have a chance to enjoy their childhood and so we try to arrange as many activities for them as possible. On this day we were able to fill our bus with local children and drive them out to the salt pans, along with a couple of pairs of binoculars, to give them the chance to make some friends, play some games and do a little bird watching too. It was here that we captured one of the most evocative images of the children, playing happily amongst the factories and flamingos under the efflorescent sky. These are images that we like to present of the work we do; not children at their saddest and most vulnerable, but children at their happiest and most protected.

Peter Norris
www.shaishavchildrights.org

Photo and story by Peter Norris.

The television lies

On my last journey through Europe I walked many gritty streets in search of street art. This piece had been painted on a construction site in Italy. I loved the Pinocchio / television references.. I'm not sure if that's what the artist meant, but what I read from it is 'the television lies!'. Digital detox anyone?

Artist: Massimo Pasca
Photographer: Simon Loffler 

It's Facebook Friday - gear up to win The Bittersweet World of Chocolate book!

Attention, chocolate aficionados! Time to make your Friday a little bit sweeter by winning “The Bittersweet World of Chocolate” book from New Internationalist’s online shop.

The 9th person to complete the below mini-survey – and share our group to at least 3 like-minded friends of yours who might be interested in subscribing to NI – gets the book AND the glory. Click on the "share +" button and tell your friends about us. How will we know if you spread the word about us to your friends? We won’t, but we trust you!

Ready for our mini-survey?

1. What is your favorite NI product?
2. If you could make one type of item available in the NI online shop that currently isn’t, what would it be?

E-mail us directly with your three answers at [email protected] and don’t forget to share our group with others! - If you’re the 9th person to do it, we’ll send you the book!

Many thanks,
NI Fridays
www.newint.org

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It's Friday - ready to win a No Nonsense Guide to World Food?

No-Nonsense guide to World FoodThe fool-proof way to having a fantastic Friday? Win something that helps both you and your kitchen. This week’s New Internationalist Friday contest has arrived!

We’re offering a FREE “No Nonsense Guide to World Food” to the sixth person who answers today’s challenge correctly and posts their answer on the blog comments. The question:

The Alpine Bakery is a community-minded Yukon business that sells wholesome, organic food products – in addition to Birch Bark Bread Boxes. These special boxes aren’t made in Canada, though. What country are they made in? (Hint: The bread boxes are sold in the NI Shop. Take a look around the shop for help: shop.newint.org)

Post your answer on the blog comments below, then contact us directly ([email protected]) with your info. If you’re the sixth person to answer correctly, we’ll send you the No Nonsense Guide to World Food!

Many thanks,
NI Team
www.newint.org

Consumerism and the kids

I came across Jonathan Darby's work today and wanted to share it with you. I like his comments on modern day consumer culture and its effects on kids of an increasingly young age. He's got an exhibition on in London at the moment you might want to check out.

"It is evident that we are easily sucked into an anti-capitalist stance or hop on the bandwagon against the corporate giants yet we are completely and utterly seduced by them. Whether I like it or not I am just as much part of this as I write this wearing my Nike trainers. Our humanity is being diluted as we become one common indistinguishable mass that is easily manipulated to the benefit of capitalist intention. I have chosen to use myself in my work as I honestly believe that I am also the subject of this matter and the first steps to dealing with this is to be straight with myself as to my involvement in it." Taken from Jonathan's artist statement.

I really enjoy reading the battle he's having with himself against the ever present seduction and how he portrays it in his artwork fusing the beauty of his fine art skills with the angst and anger of the stencil and graffiti undertones.

What are your thoughts? 

Simon.

Link love:
Jonathan Darby's blog.
Jonathan Darby's current exhibition.