Some of the art I create, does indeed tell a story. However, for the above piece, I am actually drawing to start a conversation – to engage the viewer into thinking, feeling, and responding on the soul level. Hopefully, discussion of the content of the piece, follows. This is a drawing I rendered so I might engage viewers to turn their attention to women trapped in the sex traffic industry and for discussing justice. Many glance at it and turn away quickly. Others look more carefully.
May I help you to look? I wanted to draw to show a tension that exists in these women’s lives – those caught in all forms of sexual enslavement. (This woman could be in the porn industry, prostitution, or an enslaved, unpaid worker. Her residence can be anywhere in the world, including your town. She is trapped because she has little or no income, owes money to her keeper, her john has her IDs, she is undereducated, ashamed of herself, often comes from an abusive home, and has no hope of escape to anything good.)
Here is the tension in my drawing. The classic high heels symbolize the idea of beauty, femininity and even womanly poise and power. However, there she is, slumped over in pain and despair. Her hands and wrists are locked together as if by an invisible, but certain, set of handcuffs. She is trapped. Her beauty cannot save her. Her beauty is being stolen night after night, until it is replaced with disease and despair. She will need something stronger to save her – she will need many empathetic, selfless advocates: law enforcement, justice workers, rescue workers, care providers and yes, musicians to sing her story, writers to tell of her plight, and artists. These artists will have to have the courage to draw or paint her story and help the viewers to engage. She will need community.
Will we just turn away from her plight, or will we engage in her story? Will we act in such a way that we show what she is enduring, at the hands of evil people, is truly evil? And must stop. Each of us has an important choice today. Will we support those who are fighting for these women; will we become one of those fighters? Organizations abound for each of us to work with, support, encourage and pray for, nationally and internationally. Use your gifts to fight. Connect with organizations like International Justice Mission, IJM, to see how you can get involved. Justice is possible. One important woman at a time.