ENSLAVED from VOICES4FREEDOM

WHAT ARE WE DOING?

We are creating a one-of a kind, social media-fueled, immersive exhibition that brings viewers directly into the lives of those currently enslaved and celebrates those living a life of freedom they never imagined. Searing photographic images, a series of compelling documentaries and the artwork of slaves themselves combine to illuminate one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time. The exhibition captures the experience of a lifetime lived in slavery, allowing the viewer to peek into the lives of those who are ENSLAVED.

Fishing Net, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana
Fishing Net, Brong Ahafo Region, Ghana: These boys have already been working for 12 hours. They are shivering. It is impossible to know whether it is the cool breeze or fear of empty nets that is making them shake.

EXPERIENCE SLAVERY

What does it feel like for children to pull in nets filled with a thousand pounds of fish? How many bricks can you balance on a ‘poor man’s crown’? How can you breathe 300 feet underground in illegal gold mines? ENSLAVED allows guests to experience for a few moments what those, who are enslaved, live for a lifetime.

Stacking, Kathmandu District, Nepal
Stacking, Kathmandu District, Nepal: Temperatures in the brickyards range from 90 degrees Farenheit in Nepal to 120 degrees Farenheit in India.

SEE THE LIGHT

But the portrait of slavery is not just brutal—it is beautiful too—the exhibit also captures the light of Freedom and the resilience of the human spirit in the faces and artwork of survivors who are now rebuilding their lives and helping others to freedom.

enslaved exhibition shine a light
Shine A Light, Indoor Exhibit: Visitors are invited to shine their own light in the final themed space of the exhibit. Some of the people in these images have already been helped to freedom by Free the Slaves. Some of them are still waiting.

SOUL-SHAKING IMAGES

The exhibition includes the work of world-renowned photographer Lisa Kristine. Lisa immersed herself completely in the brutal reality of 
modern-day slavery. On display are her heart-searing and inspiring images from Ghana, India and Nepal. Archbishop Desmond Tutu says Lisa’s work captures heartbreak and humanity in every frame:

“Look at the faces in Lisa Kristine’s photographs: people forced to do backbreaking work and endure mind-numbing pain. Then look closer. We see the hope that is often beaten and buried but almost never beyond reach. Lisa Kristine’s images grab the heart.” 

Powder slave ghana
Powder, Ashanti Region, Ghana

THE ART OF FREEDOM

ENSLAVED also includes the work of Artist Ben Swatez, who was so moved by the plight of slaves, and the transformational power of freedom, that he raised money, traveled to an Indian village in the process of coming to freedom…and he brought his paints. Former slaves became artists as they painted their painful pasts and their futures laced with hope. Ben’s own portraits of the newly freed artists help us know and understand them better.

Nita
Nita: Nita cannot talk about the time her father was nearly killed for trying to escape slavery. She is not ready to look at her dark past. Nita paints her future in bright colors.

FREEDOM SPEAKS

As a multi-media exhibit, viewers will hear stories of slavery and freedom directly from those who experienced it through the compelling and award-winning documentary work of abolitionist and filmmaker Peggy Callahan. Peggy, who created the largest film library of slavery in the world, brings her artist’s eye and storyteller’s soul to these documentaries allowing those in slavery and those recently freed to speak for themselves. These are the true Voices4Freedom.

Pillars, Uttar Pradesh, India
Pillars, Uttar Pradesh, India: Women are often the pillars of freedom in their communities. And so it was in this village of quarry workers who had been enslaved for as long as anyone could remember. Slaveholders burned down their homes when they declared their freedom. Many villagers wanted to give up. But they fought for their right to be free.

ART IN ACTION

As an interactive and immersive exhibition, it is not enough to see, feel and hear the story of slavery.  Viewers, who cannot live in a world where slavery exists, can act, on the spot, to help free slaves as they move through the exhibition. Through robust social media solutions developed specifically for the exhibition, attendees will be able to “text to give,” share their experiences, encourage others to see the work, learn about slavery and offer their own solutions—all without leaving the exhibit.

Children Enslaved In Fishing, Lake Volta, Ghana
Children Enslaved In Fishing, Lake Volta, Ghana: There are at least 4,000 children enslaved on Lake Volta in Ghana. Visitors will see these children, hear their voices in compelling films, be able to feel what it is like to pull in a 1,000 pound net, and through interactive technology, take immediate action to spread the word and help free children.

Click HERE to learn more about ENSLAVED, and click HERE to learn more about what you can do.