The Agony of Human Trafficking
The title of this piece is “The Agony of Human trafficking.” An alternate title is “Oppression.” My goal was to create a powerful piece that was simultaneously erotic and repulsive. Human trafficking and the agony of slavery is still prevalent today. This piece is full of symbolism. The bracelet contains a Nordic symbol, the Othala rune, that has been adopted by white supremacists as a substitute for the swastika. Also on the bracelet is a drop of blood, a symbol of the KKK. Of course most human trafficking is done by organizations without symbols but suprematist organizations have the smell of oppression that I wanted to capture. For a list of the symbols of hate, see https://www.adl.org/hate-symbols.
If you look at the girl, you will see that she has no mouth—because she has no voice. And her hands are tied.
Human trafficking afflicts more than 50,000 people per year in the US and more than 25,000,000 worldwide. It is one of the fastest growing crimes and is thought to be significantly under-reported. Because perhaps only 10% conform to the images represented by this sculpture, I encourage you to read and learn more. Most trafficked persons are confined not by physical bonds, as I illustrated, but rather by psychological and economic ones. If you are motivated to help, there are multiple charities that focus on these crimes. Polaris and Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking (Cast), for example, have good reputations.
As with my other recent sculptures, it was difficult to do this piece because the model had to be remote and I needed to sculpt from photos. As far as the hand goes, luckily, I had one of those nearby, but let me tell you, anyone who says that they know something “like the back of their hand” has never tried to sculpt the back of their hand.
On an amusing note, when I picked up my sculpture from the foundry, I wrote a big check. Bronze casting is expensive. In the memo line I wrote, “for human trafficking.” Maybe I didn’t think that through completely.
Human Trafficking is an edition of 15. It is 25 inches tall, including the base and weighs 52 lbs. Of course the best way to view it is in 3D. Take a look at this video.
- The Agony of Human Trafficking
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