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Smoking Kids - A Photo Project

This series of provoking photographs aims to draw to attention the issue at hand: smoking. Belgian photographer Frieke Janssens calls into question the health risks that come with smoking, as well as cultural views on the habit, through having kids pose as models in glamor ads of the Jazz era.

As the disclaimer on the project page of photographer Frieke Janssens states “there were no real cigarettes on set. Instead, chalk and sticks of cheese were the prop stand ins, while candles and incense provided the wisps of smoke.”

The Belgan photographer created this series of provoking, albeit beautifully composed, images after viewing a video, streamed on the internet, of a chain-smoking Indonesian toddler (clips of which you can view at the end of the below video on the ‘making of’).

Janssens wants to “isolate…the issue of smoking itself” by using children, instead of the adults who the activity of smoking is almost always associated with, in order to bring the focus back to the act of smoking rather than on the individual behind the cigarette or cigar as with the children, there is much less room for passing judgement and assigning our preconceived notions.

And the images were, intentionally, composed beautifully, each of the poses meant to evoke glamor and the days past, when smoking was a staple in restaurants, when it billowed out the entrance door to any eatery upon entering. They were composed in this manner, in order to make the “less attractive” aspect of the habit apparent, through the working of children into the mix.

The juxtaposition of children and smoke elevates the importance of the issue in our minds, through the vice or virtue of the set of soft, wonderfully constructed, images. Often times controversy or new approaches that veer off from the norm, attract attention to issues that were just as important as when they first arose to attention though, over time, have waned and been overlooked.

For more work by Janssens check out her page on Bransch

written by soundfoodaround

2 comments

  1. bass_clarinet_2000

    bass_clarinet_2000

    He is successful at what he is doing. What I like is that he didn't use the stereotype of poor kids. He used kids that are dressed like they have wealthy backgrounds. Sadly, people might pay more attention that way.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. hervinsyah

    hervinsyah

    IN INDONESIA, PARENT OFTEN TELL THEIR CHILD TO BUY THEM CIGARETTE AT THE WARUNG (SMALL SHOP) & UNDERAGE CHILDREN ARE ALLOWED TO BUY CIGARETTE IN INDONESIA.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Spanish, Deutsch, 日本語, ภาษาไทย, 中文(繁體版) & 한국어.