Thursday, February 5, 2015


Don’t miss the opportunity to see how art helps us view trafficking through the victim’s eyes.

Michigan State University (MSU) will be hosting two art exhibits, plus the opportunity to meet and listen to award-winning photographer, Kay Chernush.  Chernush will speak aboutHuman Trafficking: A Photographer at the Intersection of Art and Human Rights.

Chernush has extensive experience photographing human trafficking in the U.S. and abroad.  She has addressed the subject of human trafficking through eight major exhibitions.  Many of her images have grown out of one-on-one sessions with survivors of human trafficking. 

Two exhibitions of her photographic work will be on display at MSU from February 17th through March 19th.

Bought & Sold will be exhibited at the MSU College of Law Library. 
It is a set of photographic collages created collaboratively with survivors and speaks to the experiences and suffering of the millions of men, women and children caught up in slavery's web. The exhibit asks the public to look outward through the victims’ eyes.  Challenging us to imagine the daily horrors, tedium, desperation and ambiguities of their lives -- and to take action.

Of Bought and Sold, Chernush says: “My goal with this exhibition is to prompt a re-consideration of the commodification of human beings and the de-humanizing social interactions that make it possible for slavery to exist today, in every country, 150 years after we thought it has been abolished.”

A digital slide show also will be running on the video kiosks in the Mosaic Multicultural Center in the MSU

Borderless Captivity will be exhibited at MSU Global's Innovation Gallery.  It is a wide ranging set of images focused on labor trafficking in a global context.  Chernush states:  There are roughly 27 million slaves in the world today, bringing slaveholders and traffickers about $150 billion in annual profits, a criminal enterprise that rivals only arms and drug trafficking.”

Chernush’s exhibits and presentations are the start of a series of events building to a symposium at MSU in the spring of 2016 that will involve arts performances and educational and research presentations.  We hope this will become an annual gathering that will connect researchers and artists and a wide range of practitioners working against slavery and human trafficking.

Take Action:  Visit Chernush’s art exhibits at MSU and participate in the “Meet & Greet” and her presentation on March 17 at 3:30 pm (information below).

Chernush also launched a prominent organization of artists “Artworks for Freedom” – which supports artists who have created a broad body of works focusing on ending contemporary forms of slavery and human trafficking. 

Kay Chernush’s Art Exhibition at MSU
February 17th through March 19th

Bought and Sold
MSU College of Law Library

Borderless Captivity
MSU Global's Innovation Gallery

MSU Global Innovation Circle & Meet & Greet’ the Artist
March 17, 2015

3:30 pm – MSU College of Law 4th Floor Atrium
Artist “Meet & Greet”

4:00 pm – MSU College of Law Boardroom

Kay Chernush presents: About Human Trafficking: A Photographer at the Intersection of Art & Human Rights.”

Mark V. Sullivan is associate professor and director of the computer music studios at the Michigan State University College of Music.

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