Surround yourself with monumental portraits of the children who harvest the cocoa for the chocolate you love so much. Look them in the eyes while they tell you their story. Discover how we all are seduced by advertising slogans to consume a product with a bitter aftertaste: child labour in West Africa is still on the rise.

Bitter Chocolate Stories is immersive and sensory. Flyover the lush greenery of West Africa’s cocoa plantations and touch real cocoa beans. Learn about the harsh reality of the children who work on the plantations and see their dreams depicted in their drawings.

Exhibition locations:Beurs van Berlage, AmsterdamTropenmuseum, AmsterdamTony’s Store, AmsterdamTropenmuseum, Berg en Dal,Chocolate Museum, Cologne
BITTER – Chocolate Stories is a traveling exhibition addressing the complexities of the chocolate industry through child workers experiences while working in cocoa fields and words from theadvertisement industry. Visitors are invited to explore the subject in a non-linear way. I was responsible for the spacial design and production. The exhibition is highly modular and can split to simultaneous locations.BITTER is a collaboration of Joana Choumali (photography), Marijn Heemskerk (texts), Tony’s Chocolonely and Paradox Joana Choumali (photography), Marijn Heemskerk (journalist), 2017-2020.

Exhibition locations:

Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam

Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam

Tony’s Store, Amsterdam

Tropenmuseum, Berg en Dal,

Chocolate Museum, Cologne

Curated by
Bas Vroege & Tiago Rosado (Paradox)

Design exhibition
Tiago Rosado (Paradox), Kummer & Herrman

Sound design & video
Peter Claassen (Meerzicht)

Ernst Reijseger, Mola Sylla, Harmen Fraanje

Design book
Kummer & Herrman

Special thanks to
Azu Nwagbogu (African Artists’ Foundation/ LagosPhoto) / Madame Bernadette Ouédraogo (GRADE-FRB, Ouagadougou)
Technical realisation / Techniek / Eyes on Media / Bouwko Landstra / GB Edam / Beam Systems / Berndsen Projectieschermen

BITTER Chocolate Stories is a Paradox production, created in collaboration with Tony’s Chocolonely. Paradox is supported by the Mondriaan Fund and others.