In Thailand, it is not uncommon for children to start boxing from the age of 7 or 8 years old, some even starting as early as 5 years old. The children are sent away from home to stay at the gym where they train. They earn money when they fight, which they send home, becoming providers for their family at a very young age.
Life as a boxer is hard. They train twice a day, run twice a day and are not allowed to go out at night. Many of them go to school once a week, during the weekends. Usually by the age of 15 they have to stop going to school because the fighting takes over their lives.
Child boxing has received a lot of media attention from international human rights activists, and created much debate about the ethics of children fighting, but in Thailand there is no such debate; it is simply a way of life.
A big thank you to the boys who appear in these photos, for allowing me into their lives to document them.
Many thanks to Diana & Tuk for all their help and support.
In 2013, Australian photographer Anna Fawcus travelled to the south of Thailand to document a group of young Muay Thai fighters. At the Rawai Muay Thai gym, she was invited to spend time with the young boxers at their home, in their gym and at their fights. She spent six weeks documenting their young lives.
This exhibition of photographs explores the reality of life as a child boxer, both in and outside of the boxing ring.
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