Stab Magazine | The Devil Is In The Detail – Disposable Indonesian Labour, Mentawai Islands
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The Devil Is In The Detail – Disposable Indonesian Labour, Mentawai Islands

Stab‘s favourite multi-layered images. Y’heard of cheap labour, yeah? But, disposable labour? This is the potential economic miracle Stab almost created during our part in the Red Bull Minor Threat trip starring Con Coffin, Kolohe, Bruce, yada yada. Theory is thus: because Indonesia is the most densely populated joint on earth (238 millski) it’s impossible […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Stab‘s favourite multi-layered images.

Y’heard of cheap labour, yeah? But, disposable labour? This is the potential economic miracle Stab almost created during our part in the Red Bull Minor Threat trip starring Con Coffin, Kolohe, Bruce, yada yada.

Theory is thus: because Indonesia is the most densely populated joint on earth (238 millski) it’s impossible for that Third World nation to get a foothold economically. But, what would happen if a new industry was created – the sale of disposable children to complete work too dangerous for foreigners? Indonesia’s GDP and the balance of payments sway into the black and the population swings to a manageable level!

Seriously, folks, and we ain’t kidding here, we nearly fucking drowned a coupla sweet lil kids, ages 7 and 10, while trying to create a funny cover for the mag. Imagine this. Conner (pictured here) or whoever nailing a hack while our 10-man photography team, in five boats, captures it all from the channel. But, the kink is this. Everyone’s in trad Indo boats! And all are semi-nekkid kids! And, they’re all using vintage video cameras we hired back in Australia!

But, on this four-foot day at Lances, with kids hired from the village, we didn’t count on a west bowl cleaning ‘em up while we held ‘em in position. We didn’t count on ‘em not being able to swim, either. When the wave receded we swam around picking ‘em up, but after a head count realised we’d lost two. Bag o’ nuts! Yipe! Eventually we scooped ‘em out, neither badly wounded, and, I guess, multiple manslaughter charges were averted.

As recompense, and apart from their 10-dollar payday, we kicked ‘em a board, tees and whatever trinkets we could swipe from the pros’ drawers. A classic East meets West, First World-Third World moment and one appreciated by all involved. – Derek Rielly

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