Monday, November 9, 2009

Nov 9-15: Installation depicting the "Journey" of trafficked women across the globe

Helen Bamber Foundation

Mayor Bloomberg, Oscar winning actor and human rights campaigner Emma Thompson, guest artists and curators are launching a provocative installation depicting the "Journey" of trafficked women across the globe into the sex industry.

Journey will be located on Washington Place, off Washington Square Park from Monday, November 9th to Sunday, November 15th between 12pm and 8pm. The installation will be hosted by Emma Thompson, Sam Roddick, Helen Bamber OBE, and other members of the Journey team.

Journey's arrival in Manhattan is a major stop on its world tour against human trafficking. Journey brings together creativity and the art of survival to show what it means to be bought and sold. It demonstrates how one woman's story can help us understand a subject that is as painful as it is incomprehensible. Trafficking is a crime without borders. Trafficked people become illegal, stigmatized and invisible. The state of New York is a major entry and transit hub, but authorities and agencies are pouring huge resources into supporting victims and prosecuting traffickers.

Visitors to Journey will walk through seven shipping containers that tell the story of Elena who was trafficked into sexual slavery. It evokes the seven stages of a trafficked woman's experience: Hope, Journey, Uniform, Bedroom, Customer, Stigma and Resurrection. The containers have been designed by seven international artists, and give New Yorkers the opportunity to hear, see and feel the squalid drudgery of sexual slavery. Exterior photographs by James Ostrer. Drawings by Antony Micaleff

Journey is just one face of the Helen Bamber Foundation, an international human rights charity founded by Helen Bamber OBE and Dr. Michael Korzinski based in the UK, who have over 80 years combined experience working with three generations of survivors. The Helen Bamber Foundation provides medical consultation, therapeutic care, advocacy and practical support to survivors of gross human rights violations, torture, political oppression, trafficking for sexual exploitation, and other forms of extreme cruelty. Their experience of listening and responding has helped them to build an organization that understands the diverse needs of the new generation of survivors.

Journey is supported by the Mayor's Office and other New York based organizations advocating on behalf of survivors of trafficking and other forms of violence against women and children. The Helen Bamber Foundation has a wealth of knowledge around human trafficking through working with judiciary and police, health and social services authorities, other NGOs and of course the women themselves.

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