Charles Dickens was a socially aware writer who knew very well, the world of the poor. In Britain’s 19th century Industrial Revolution, society was engrossed in the wonders of technology and the wealth it could generate with little concern of the consequences of these great inventions or the impact they had on those who worked to keep the technology in motion to generate increasing wealth for the owners of the machinery. In Dickens’ day, the work house, child labor, merciless exploitation of workers, debt imprisonment, slum dwelling and the under-world of cut-throats, pick-pockets, thieves and beggars were the lot of the poor.
In this 21st century age, Oliver Twist and his kind have disappeared for many of us. Yet, Oliver Twist exists in various forms in similar situations and underground societies all over the globe, even in Malaysia. Here is a heart-rending photo essay of ‘Oliver Twist’ in Malaysia, by a local design graduate named Chia Hong. This ‘Oliver Twist’ and his kind are the invisible forgotten poor living between the cracks of the political system in Malaysia. He is the boy with bottle shoes.
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