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Human Rights & Responsibilities
On March 1, 2016 at 7 P.M in the Walter Theater at St. Norbert College we had the honor of hosting Lisa Kristine's presentation "The Faces of Modern Day Slavery". Lisa Kristine is a well known humanitarian photographer who is not just motivated by capturing the "perfect" picture, but by inspiring change through her photographs. Lisa discussed how the arts always had played a big role in her life. However, attending art school and mastering her skills as a photographer wasn't all she wanted to do with her skills. Lisa realized she wanted to use her photography skills in more ways than just capturing a moment at the right time in the right place. Photography has the ability to capture moments and make them seen to the public. People often think that things don't exist simply because they don't exist in their lives or don't hear much about certain issues occurring. Many people wouldn't consider slavery to be an issue in todays society however it most definitely is. Lisa at one point had no idea slavery was still an issue and when she found out the horrible ways people were suffering from it she knew she needed to use her powers of photography towards a movement of ending slavery. She made the decision to travel to more than 100 countries on six continents. She captured the everyday lives of indigenous cultures with her powerful photographs. The photographs illustrated the social issues that are occurring everyday. The photographs intimately illustrate the everyday struggles people while being forced into modern day slavery.
Lisa Kristine first went into talking about brick staking and the horrifying conditions the people had to endure during their day of working. Bricks are four pounds which could become somewhat heavy for some individuals and it is not like they are working in cool temperatures with shade and water to relax when needed. The people working were men, women, and even children and weren't considered workers, but as slaves. The weather was extremely hot and carrying four pound bricks was difficult and caused many safety hazards and health risks. The slaveholders did not care about their slaves and whether they were injured or even died because they were so easily replaceable. Lisa talked about how hot it was for even her and her camera crew; so much that the camera gear stopped working.
Another horrible example of the work slaves was forced into was fishing. First hearing the name some may think it wasn't such a horrible job. Unfortunately, that isn't the case. People were forced into fishing by being offered false promises, along with being forced into the job by being threatened with violence. Fishing usually started because people had to pay debts to people. People that sold children and young adult boys into fishing were usually family friends of the boys who the family trusted to take care of their children. These boys were forced to be in the water all day. There were young little children who were forced to learn to swim then and there or drowned instead. There were also older boys who were referred to as mangers and were appointed the job by slaveholders. They treated the younger boys poorly and turned against others. Lisa said she talked to many of the boys at the fishing sites and every single person she spoke with said they knew at least one person who drowned during fishing.
A type of slavery that most people are more aware of are sex slaves. Lisa went into an underground railroad in Quell Qaida where women were being held as sex slaves in rooms separated by ply wood. Children were brought there to bring drinks and food to the customers to make sure they were satisfied and would come again. Women and young girls were brought in to these situations due to their lack of power and lack of financial stability. They thought these people were going to give them a better life and trusted them, but found out the hard way that they were being sold as sex slaves.
Lisa Kristine wanted to shine a light on all she has learned and has seen happen with how
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