'Faces Behind Atrocity' takes the stage at the 2018 Masquerade: Unmask the Truth event!
Oct 2, 2018 | By: Matilde Simas
Fun night at the Freedom Cafe Masquerade 2018: Unmask the Truth event! Thank you to everyone at the Freedom Cafe and the University of New Hampshire for hosting 'Faces Behind Atrocity' and having me speak at your event about HAART Kenya and the making of the photo series. I'm excited to see this artwork come to life.
Faces Behind Atrocity, a portrait series of trafficking survivors, masked to protect their identities. Each image is accompanied by a survivor’s story. The project aims to: (1) provide a forum for healing through art, and (2) educate and provoke action, such as volunteering or donating to organizations working with human trafficking survivors by acting to draw its audience into a conversation about human trafficking and modern- day slavery.
Despite increasing efforts and a global movement to raise awareness about the atrocities of human trafficking, many people remain unaware that modern day slavery persists in alarming numbers.
The Faces Behind Atrocity series aims to advocate for and alongside the survivors, amplifying their voices and documenting their healing and the organizations that support them through it. The project has roots in Nairobi, where local nonprofit HAART Kenya works within national borders to rescue and rehabilitate human trafficking survivors. The original series involved seven young women of four different nationalities, ranging in age from 13 to 16 years old. They were rescued from the horrors of the trafficking world and are in various stages of the healing process. Masked to protect their identities, the survivors allowed me to capture a visual representation of their resilience, beauty, and strength, while also providing a written account of how they were trafficked and the atrocities they faced.
Christina Gavin and Matilde Simas enjoy an evening at the 2018 Freedom Masquerade Ball on Saturday September 29, 2018.