Image gallery – Unilever’s unending racism (June 2018)

Kodaikanal is a beautiful hill-town in South India

A view of the town from the hills of Kodaiikanal
The eco-sensitive Pambar Shola forests behind the Unilever factory site. PC Amirtharaj Stephen

A thermometer factory owned by Unilever irresponsibly dumped toxic mercury in the environs causing health and environmental hazards

Empty Mercury Bottles behind Unilever’s factory on the eco-sensitive watershed foresrs. PC Ex-mercury workers
Broken mercury thermometers dumped in the scrap yard of a densely populated area PC Ex-mercury workers

Studies conducted years later still show dangerous levels of contamination of toxic mercury

Moss and Lichen samples near the factory site were found-to-contain high levels of mercury. PC-Archanaa-Seker
Moss and lichens near the factory site PC Archanaa Seker
IIT Hyderabad study confirms the high levels of contamination in fish
Infographic – IIT Hyderabad study
Sudhanshu Mahotra captures the tragedy of Kodai in his gallery ‘Poisoned’
Fishes are still consumed from the Kodai lake, even though it has been proved that they contain high levels of mercury.

Years of struggle, protests by locals and a rap video made Unilever take notice and act.

Protests and struggle to make Unilever accountable
Protests by ex-workers locals, students, activists
The sarcasm is not lost on Unilever CEO’s accolade
Double standards – is that what Unilever stands for?
A screen grab of the viral Kodaikanal Wont rap video

…. but the job is half-baked and half-done as Unilever continues to dish out questionable reports and clearly refuses to clean up the site to international standards. Hence locals, activists, students and artists continue to protest and carry the struggle forward. Screen-grabs from the latest video Kodaikanal still won’t!

We may do well to remember that Unilever has a long history of racism as these ads show us

L0069117 Advert for Lux
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
Advertising material for Lux washing soap. Tagline says “won’t shrink wool.” Image features a stereotypical depiction of a contemporary black mother washing her son’s hair with the Lux powder. Her son sits in a bath atop a large box of Lux.
188u The delight of all who use it : that’s Lux /
Lever Brothers Ltd.
Published: [188-?]
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
An ad for Pears soap
More Pears, More racism
Pears makes you shine, really