In 2008 I went to Ethiopia where I met four teenage girls who wanted to get out of prostitution. My team's photography instigated the movement to help these women pursue their own dreams. As we told their stories, complete strangers contributed to help these girls start a coffee shop and begin new lives.
This story ignited a passion in me to fight against the sex industry. However, I didn't want to just see victims freed, but focus on what happens after they find their way out. Now, as a psychology student at MTSU, I have been working on a research structure to study recovery treatment and aftercare for victims of human trafficking and sex slavery.
I have been working with four of my psychology professors to develop a structure of research to understand how treatments can improve self-image and the person's perception of control. Many of the organizations I'm working with utilize creative tools like art therapy, music, sewing, baking, and jewelry-making as part of transition into their new lives. The research part of this journey is going to be a huge learning experience. However, my heart lies with telling their stories with not only words and statistics, but with photographs.
I have decided to make this research into a photojournalism trek to eight different organizations across six countries. In December I will fly to China, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Nepal, and the Netherlands meeting up with people who are there fighting in the red light districts.
My last stop will be in Iceland to process and edit photos, analyze and summarize my data, and finalize the first draft of the photo book.
I want to photograph and tell stories that show what truly works in the red light districts for those who are rescued and those who are rescuing.
What I Need:
I have worked out that $7000 is the absolute minimum I need to make this project possible. This includes basic flights, printing, and film only- no personal expenses.
$3,800 for ALL my flights total.
$2,100 for printing 70 quality hardcover photo books.
$1,100 for 30 rolls of medium format film, processing of the film, and 10 packs of polaroid instant film.
I will be sending out thank you postcards as I go, and all of the other prints should be completed and in your hands by June 2013. However, the book is not projected to be printed and finished until September 2013. My entire month of June will be spent in Iceland and will be dedicated to the editing and making of the book. It should be printed and sent out by end of August/September '13.
To keep up with the progress and updates, check these links:
Risks and challenges
One of my biggest risks in this project is shooting film. In the majority of these places I will have no way to develop my film and will potentially have to carry it around for months. I am going to be shooting digital and instant film as well so there will be photos no matter what happens, but this is going to be a factor that I will need a lot of prayer over!
I also have not reached my goals for personal expenses like food, lodging, emergencies, and extra travels. I am hoping to do enough work to cover some of those, but I will probably need another two thousand over my goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)