chocolate made by child slaves
I expected people to approach me and see what I have to share.
Not in a mental way but rather in a materialistic one.

Approximately, 30 minutes I assumed it would take me to hand out 100 packages filled with chocolate and decorated with a note saying: “ Chocolate Made By Child Slaves”. The chocolate I used for this project are well known brands such as Twix, Mars, Bounty, etc. which are all under the company of Nestle and Mars - One of the biggest promoters of child slavery in West Africa.

Handing out chocolate during holiday season, made it easier to approach people since we tend to have more trust in each other throughout this period. The main idea behind this paradox situation of handing out chocolate, with the purpose to make you happy, though meanwhile attached a note that might change your attitude towards the way we currently produce these products, should create a cognitive dissonance within the receiver of the trigger.

I feel bad playing around with people’s feelings. I am asking for trust and I misuse it.

Especially children, who are not aware of the situation. There is a difference between children and adults whereas the younger generation cheerfully eats the chocolate immediately and the older generation takes it home with them.

I am wondering what goes through people’s mind when they cautiously open the package and read the added tag. This is a situation i will never be part of, but it makes me feel good to be part of something I do not have control over afterwards. I am distant to this project, nevertheless you will take me and my thoughts home. And I will affect you.

There is a lot of ignorance surrounding me. There is no discussion beyond the type of chocolate people want to have. Exchanging for a better test, but not a better sustainability for those children. The violation of children’s lives we all are part of, but we do not want to acknowledge.

My intention was to make you care and be a trigger for a bigger notion. I do not know the repercussions of what I did. I acknowledge the fact that I left many people cold by handing out this chocolate and just made them enjoy this little gift.

I made the decision to buy chocolate made by child slaves to make a point against our actions of supporting the idea of consumeristic slavery in West Africa.

A contradiction within itself. A creation of cognitive dissonance within the public body and myself.

2016 | Netherlands
Samira Saidi
artist