In her heartbreaking photographic series entitled Marlboro Boys, Toronto-based photographer Michelle Siu documents underage smokers in Indonesia.
While smoking rates are decreasing in most parts of the world, Indonesia is instead seeing their smoking rates increase. Even more alarming is the fact that there are instances of children smoking their first cigarette at the age of four. Marlboro Boys is an incredibly compelling, horrifying series. The name is a play on the Marlboro Man ad campaign for Marlboro cigarettes, where the Marlboro Man was a rugged cowboy meant to sell cigarettes as a masculine vice. In Marlboro Boys, the masculine poses struck by these young Indonesian boys are undercut by their boyish faces.
With Marlboro Boys, Michelle Siu brings attention to the foothold the tobacco industry has in Indonesia, and the children who fuel its economy.