Photographer Frieke Janssens’s Controversial Smoking Kids Series

The Beauty of an Ugly Addiction

Recently smoking was banned in all public places in Belgium. Photographer Frieke Janssens responded with “surrealistic, melancholic and theatrical but especially controversial pictures of smoking kids” to visualise the contradiction of the unhealthy cigarette and the immense attraction of smoking.

“does this ban treat adults like children who can’t willfully decide whether or not to partake in this horribly harmful habit? What is it about smoking, aside from the obvious addictive content, that draws people in? Is it its image from film noir? Is it the appeal of its performative consumption, that mannerism or pose that seems to imbue a smoker with a particular sort of character?”~ Janssens

 After seeing a YouTube video a two-year old Indonesian smoker who smokes 40 cigarettes a day, Frieke was inspired to produce this series. 

*please note that the children were holding incense or cheese during the shoot and the cigarettes were digitally added later. (see making of video at bottom of post)

Behind the scenes:

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