The United Nations marks February 20 as the World Day of Social Justice, a day when we globally come together to affirm our commitment to working towards social justice on behalf of all the world's citizens. The World Day of Social Justice gives us an opportunity to reflect on the complexity and yet also the interconnection among the many individuals and groups that experience oppression and injustice. This is also a day when we can also acknowledge how human trafficking is a critical social justice issue precisely because of the role that inequality and marginalization frequently play in leaving trafficked persons vulnerable to exploitation.
We're taking the time in our February newsletter to recognize the World Day of Social Justice and we're asking you to make a special note to commemorate this occasion on February 20. Honoring World Day of Social Justice is also particularly befitting for ArtWorks for Freedom, as we continue to grow our international partnerships this month with our participation in the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai. Below, we share more about the festival and our goal to shed light on the scope of human trafficking in India and around the world. February is a month to reflect on the global responsibility to end human trafficking and how our individual efforts matched with those of others around the world create a united front against modern day slavery.
Thanks as always for your support of ArtWorks for Freedom, and please help us share the work we do with your networks on social media or invite your friends to join our mailing list. The value of your continuous support is immeasurable.
This month, ArtWorks for Freedom travels to Mumbai, India to take our message of social engagement through the arts to the internationally renowned Kala Ghoda Arts Festival from February 6 through February 14. The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival is the largest multicultural event in India, drawing more than 150,000 visitors each year from around the world to take in the unique culture and beauty of South Mumbai. A total of 590 events will take place during the festival, and ArtWorks is pleased to sponsor multiple performances and exhibits, including:
“Bought & Sold: Voices of Human Trafficking,” a photo exhibit by ArtWorks for Freedom Founder and Creative Director Kay Chernush that speaks to the experiences and suffering of the hundreds of thousands of women, children and men caught up in the web of modern day slavery.
“Red Sand Project,” a participatory art installation created by Molly Gochman that invites people to fill sidewalk cracks with red sand to make visible the marginalized and vulnerable members of society;
“Lal Batti Express” (Red-Light Express), a dramatic performance by the members of Kranti (which means "Revolution: in Hindi) to be held at the National Gallery of Modern Art. Kranti is a non-profit organization that empowers girls from Mumbai's red light district to become agents of social change.
“Not My Life," a film by Academy Award nominee Robert Bilheimer, which documents the world of modern-day slavery on five continents; and
"Lakshmi," a feature film directed by Nagesh Kukunoor, about a13-year old girl who is kidnapped, prostituted and against all odds brings her trafficker to justice in an Indian court.
Participating in the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival helps ArtWorks continue to build our international partnerships and support local efforts to fight human trafficking around the world. According to Vikram Arora, ArtWorks co-organizing partner in India,
"The problem of human trafficking is deeply rooted in Indian society. It is a problem directly connected to poverty as traffickers can make quick money buying and selling poor girls and children for begging, bonded labor and the sex trade."
Shikha Uberoi, a former professional tennis player and co-founder of Indi.com India, is another local organizer and strong believer in the power of Arts to bring about social change. "As a social entrepreneur and activist, I'm thrilled that ArtWorks for Freedom is bringing the message to India," she says. "We desperately need them here."
ArtWorks’ trip to Mumbai is supported in part by the US-based Association for India's Development, or AID. Shyamala Gopalan, one of organizers of AID's philanthropic efforts, believes that,
“This initiative will help bring the issue of human trafficking to the forefront of public opinion and motivate action leading to change."
Stay connected to ArtWorks on Twitter and Facebook to see photos from Mumbai throughout the month.
"Why I Give to ArtWorks for Freedom"
In our donor spotlight section, we're giving a shout out to the donors who make our work possible!
I donate to ArtWorks for Freedom because the organization is unique in using the creative power of art to address issues affecting some of the most vulnerable people. I feel lucky to have grown up in a safe and secure environment - things I usually take for granted. ArtWorks for Freedom educates us about the alternate reality that so many women face, and in the process, empowers them to tell their stories and catalyze change.
~ Radhika Bhattacharya, Lawyer & Social Activist
Join our community of concerned citizens and help ArtWorks for Freedom raise worldwide consciousness of human trafficking. DONATE TODAY
News & Events From Around Our Community
WORLD BANK 1-IN-3 EXHIBIT
BALL STATE UNIVERSITY
JAN. 21 - MAY 8
Thirty selected images from the photo exhibit "Borderless Captivity," by Kay Chernush, are part of the World Bank 1-in-3 Exhibit at the David Owsley Museum at Ball State University from Jan 21 - May 8. The 1-in-3 Exhibit displays photographs, paintings, sculpture, and video created by international, emerging contemporary artists that directly confront gender-based violence (GBV).
ANNE FRANK AWARD CEREMONY
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, DC
ArtWorks contributing artist and cellist Ignacio Alcover will perform at the 2015 Anne Frank Awards Ceremony, to be held at the Library of Congress on February 25. Recipients Nicholas Kristof and Cindy McCain will be honored for their human rights efforts during the annual event. Photographs by Kay Chernush will be featured at the Awards Ceremony.
GOLDEN DOORS TO FREEDOM AT THE MID-AMERICA TRUCKING SHOW
MARCH 31 - APRIL 2