Bought & Sold: Voices of Human Trafficking is an outdoor photographic installation that speaks to the experiences and suffering of the hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children caught up in slavery’s web. The exhibit asks viewers to consider their plight from their perspective. Looking outward through the victims’ eyes, the images challenge us to imagine the daily horrors, tedium, desperation and ambiguities of their lives—and to take action. For each image, an “audio portrait,” accessed via smartphone or tablet, fleshes out the survivor’s narrative.
“There are over 21 million slaves in the world today, bringing slaveholders and traffickers about $150 billion annually. With high profits and low risk, the buying and selling of human beings has become the fastest-growing criminal enterprise in the world, surpassing even arms and drug trafficking. How can this be? We thought slavery had disappeared 150 years ago, when in reality it is all around us, hidden in plain sight. In fact, modern day slavery, or human trafficking as it is also known, exists in every country and in many guises. It is fueled by extreme poverty, corruption, cultural norms that devalue and commodify women and children, and also by an insatiable demand for exploitive sex and cheap labor. This exhibit is intended to spark dialogue and inspire creative action, to tell the stories of modern day slavery and the journey towards freedom.”
—Kay Chernush, photographer
Programming & Financial Support
This exhibition has been organized in partnership with the Chazen Museum of Art, UW-STREETS, and ArtWorks for Freedom.