"I can't do anything to fix this issue. I can only make films."
The above quote is something my art director said to me once. We were walking through a store running errands and, discussing a project. At the time, our team was producing a documentary on a particularly relevant and controversial issue. I was really glad he told me why we did so.
It's simple, but the idea behind it struck me long after that chat. We can't always slay dragons, but we rarely have nothing to lend to the fight.
I can think of no greater dragon, present in our world today than Human trafficking.
Human trafficking is deadly, sordid and silent. Every day new children go missing, and are swallowed up by underground crime-rings of forced labor and sexual slavery. It goes on in the shadows, praying on the innocence of the innocent, treating human beings like disposable garbage.
The stench of it travels across the world, making no distinction between first or third world countries, suburbs or cities. (This is an American problem too, in case you weren't aware) Neither does it make distinction in age, gender, or race, victimizing all where it can.
Facts and figures evade us as this evil is done in secret. Though our estimates are staggering. (End It lists an estimate of 20 - 45.8 million people caught up in human trafficking on their website.)
I'd like to modify the above quote slightly. "I can't do anything to fix this issue, I can only bring light."
Whether it's film or photography, light is one of the few weapons in my chest. And modern day slavery is an issue that needs it desperately. That being said, I want to fight it with photographs.
The photos on this page are part of a series I've been putting together throughout 2017. The end goal is to help raise awareness about Human Trafficking by photographing and sharing the stories of challengers, survivors and non-profit organizations that are looking to fight this disgusting issue.
I'm currently still in the planning and shooting stage of this project, and I'm trying to photograph anything I can that relates to this issue. Before the end of 2017, I plan to show this work off as a gallery in art shows, coffee shops, events, the internet, and basically anywhere that will hear and look.
Friends, I'm asking for your participation in this fight. You have something to lend too. Some light, if you will. I'm asking you to contact me with anything relating to this issue that I could/should/ought-to photograph please contact me. I'm looking to take pictures of non-profs/NGOs, community organizers, survivors (In silhouette or anonymously) locations of HT-related incidents, even recovered abusers.
Lastly, (This is the part where I really need your help) I would like to take a portrait of ANYONE who wants to take a stand against modern day slavery as a part of this exhibit. I want to build an enormous collage of pictures of anyone willing to put their face behind this issue. If you'd like to fight, let's schedule a time!