Modern Slavery — Photographer Lisa Kristine on TedTalks

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Lisa Kristine: Photos that bear witness to modern slavery

Sometimes when I’m trying to productively procrastinate (as opposed to watching all of Freaks and Geeks on Netflix), I start clicking my way through one TedTalk after another. This morning, I came across a TedTalk by Lisa Kristine, a photographer who, for the past few years, has been traveling around the world and documenting the “unbearably harsh realities of modern-day slavery.” In this talk, she shares her images which illuminate “the plight of the 27 million souls enslaved worldwide”, from miners in the Congo to brick layers in Nepal.

I thought this particular talk, and Kristine’s use of photography to capture, express and spread these human stories, was a unique but effective way of highlighting a very real and ever present issue in our global society. In the present day, our living in a “post-racial society” is a popularly accepted notion. Yet oppression, economic prosperity monopolized by a few key nations, and slavery in every sense of the word is still very much a reality for people around the world.

We tend to pinpoint slavery in the United States between beginning with the slave trade in the 15th century and culminating with the Abolitionist movement and Civil War in the 19th century, as the start and end all of repression and racism in our society. Sex trafficking, human trafficking for labor, outsourcing, corporate “chicanery”, immigration fraud and coerced employment to ensure cheap goods and even cheaper labor are alive and well ways of promoting modern day slavery, even here in the US.

Read more here! http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/04/modern-day-slavery-a-problem-that-cant-be-ignored/

….and take a look at John Bowe’s book Nobodies: Modern American Slave Labor and the Dark Side of the New Global Economy – http://www.powells.com/biblio?isbn=9781400062096

What are your thoughts on the notion of modern day slavery? Do you think we hear about it? Too much, or too little? When you think of the word slavery, what images does it conjure up in your mind? How do those differ from the images presented by Kristine in her TedTalk?