Unforgettable Photos Capture Life Inside a Toy Factory in China
Arts & Culture
It's not often that when we buy toys for our kids, we think about the back-breaking work that went into making them. Usually we weigh the toy's cost, its appeal, and how much our kids will entertain themselves with it before it's discarded for the next new shiny thing. But rarely do we think about the factory laborers who churn those toys out en masse, or the conditions under which they do such work.
In his series, "The Real Toy Story", photographer Michael Wolf captured life inside a toy factory in China, a reality that's far removed from the glittering, plastic-wrapped shelves of American stores.
America has often been described as a melting pot; perhaps music is our clearest representation of this today. In the trailer for Ron Howard's concert documentary, Made In America, D.M.C of Run- D.M.C. narrates, “ Pop, rock, hip-hop- all on the same stage because music succeeds where politics and religion failed… You play the guitar, he plays the drums, he uses a turntable. This wall between us doesn’t have to exist.” Maybe musicians are the last frontier of the American Dream: With a lot of hard work and luck, you can still make it big. These artists, who all perform in Made in America, exemplify that struggle.
Jay-Z is undoubtedly one of the biggest artists in hip-hop history. Furthermore, according to Forbes, he is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country. Though rap is typically generalized as youth culture, there is something about Jay-Z that has helped him span his career for over twenty years: Authenticity. It’s more than his music; it’s his conduct. The underlying idea that he’s never forgotten his roots as a child growing up in the projects of Brooklyn seems to have influenced many of his business decisions. Whether it was helping to discover and sign a young singer selling clothes on the street with her father in Barbados (Rihanna), or hiring a formerly unknown wiz-kid to produce his comeback album (Kanye West), Jay-Z has made bets on longshots—like he himself once was—that have more than paid in full. Because at the end of the day, it’s not about where you come from—it’s what you bring to the table.