Emily Karam

Graphic Design | she/her ︎

What is your perception of chocolate?

As the most popular sweet treat in the world, chocolate is commonly perceived as a delicious dessert, a mood elevator, and even a healthy snack. But its lesser known historical value and manufacturing practices reveal an alternate reality.

Bittersweet explores the bitter and sweet perspectives of chocolate. The bitter side lies in the 140 billion dollar industry’s widespread use of child laborers, documenting as many as 1.6 million children according to the 2020 NORC report funded by the U.S. DOL. The sweet side examines the ancient utilization of cocoa as currency and a “food of the gods.”

In this exhibition, chocolate bars and chocolate syrup are used as a medium to skew common perspectives. A book and digital poster document significant moments in chocolate’s sweet and bitter history. Learning more about chocolate expands our awareness and breaks the dissociation of how we perceive chocolate.