When I am searching for articles in Trove I often come across items that are terribly sad or horribly inappropriate. These papers go back to the early 1800’s so they can encompass the entire raft of human prejudices and discriminations, or report on things that are so politically incorrect that they are really not postable.
An example of one of those terribly sad things is this 1912 picture from Nanking, China, below.
What sort of horribly impoverished conditions did this woman and her family live under, when selling herself and three children (there is a baby in the basket) into slavery was preferred rather than going on as they were?
There is no male in this picture, no husband or father. What could have happened to him? Is the absence of a male head of the house the reason for their straightened circumstances?
Seeing images like this should make us all realize that when things seem a little hard in our First World lives we need to remember that slavery and human trafficking still exists today, and that for the majority of human history life for the average person was far, far more difficult.
This picture and subject have prompted me to share my very favourite podcast series, Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. The particular podcast episode I was thinking of is called Addicted to Bondage and is about the history and ethics of slavery throughout history.
His interpretation of history is extremely thought-provoking, and the quality of the podcast production, with subtle sound effects and music, makes them completely immersive.
If you are a podcast lover you probably already know about this amazing series. If you aren’t, you should download some of them right now!! They are free and easily found on iTunes. You don’t even need an ipod, you just need to have the iTunes program downloaded to your computer and you can listen from there.