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Most of us know that the toys we give to kids during the holidays tend to be made in China. However, this is a fairly abstract concept; we don't really know the people on the assembly line.
German-born photographer Michael Wolf is looking to change that with his latest photo essay. The pics highlight the jarring contrast between the often grim factory workers and the cheery toys they create. (Not all workers are downcast; a few are smiling.)
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Wolf heightened the dissonance with an exhibit in California that framed the worker's faces within a mosaic of colorful toys.
In his online gallery, Wolf dropped some troubling stats about Chinese factory workers. For instance, their average monthly salary in 2010 was $240, which was "insufficient to cover basic needs for workers and their families." In 2009, around a million workers suffered industrial injuries; about 20,000 were victims of occupational disease.
But in an acknowledgement that the truth isn't always binary, Wolf also linked to this TED talk by Leslie T. Chang, who presented a nuanced view of the workers' lives and motivations.
For the full gallery, click here. Does it make you think differently about the products you'll be buying this season? Let us know in the comments.
Images courtesy of Michael Wolf
This story originally published on Mashable here.