In witnessing modern day slavery, Lisa Kristine has immortalized still images of the slaves she met on her travels with (FTS) Free the Slaves – A not for profit organization whose mission is to end slavery worldwide; in search of the hidden, the unseen, the world’s forgotten slaves. “Lisa captures images that reveal the pain of slavery and the hope of freedom.” -FTS
Lisa Kristine is a photographer and humanitarian whose famous works include the visual documentation of indigenous cultures in over 100 countries spanning over six continents. Lisa’s most recent work titled “Slavery” spotlights human enslavement worldwide highlighting the plight and suffering of families, and individuals; men, women and children who live and work without pay, without freedom. Lisa’s current exhibition “Enslaved” is a visual story which spotlights modern day slavery educating and inspiring those who view it
Lisa Kristine’s photography work has been utilized in the media to educate and inspire action in their readers who view her photography. Recently Lisa was named Humanitarian Photographer of the year by the Lucie Foundation who honors the world’s top photographers. The Lucie Foundation said: Lisa is a “master storyteller,” her photographs instinctively identify the universal human dignity in all of us.
Music4Freedomrecently interviewed Lisa Kristine. We would like to share the following interview with you and hope that you too are motivated and inspired to take action!
Music4Freedom: Your work inspires and educates the public about the unity in our differences. Your series titled “Slavery” awakens in us the awareness that slavery still exists. Can you share with us a little bit more about your work’s purpose?
Lisa Kristine: My work’s purpose is to create awareness that slavery exists, to bring about an impact and motivate the public to take a stand to end slavery in our lifetime! My series “Slavery” spotlights the face of modern day slavery. You can find more information about my work on my website http://www.lisakristine.com/
Music4Freedom: When and how did you first learn that slavery still exists and what moved you to photograph human enslavement?
Lisa Kristine: I was the sole exhibitor at the 2009 Peace Summit attended by his Holiness Dalai Lama, when I first learned that slavery still exists through a conversation with a friend and supporter of Free the Slaves. We began talking about slavery – actually I began learning about slavery. I had no idea this unfathomable tragedy was far more pervasive than at any other time in human history. Within weeks I flew to meet with Free the Slaves and asked how I could help.
Music4Freedom: Why is the cause to end slavery important to you and what did you learn through your collaboration with Free the Slaves?
Lisa Kristine: The cause to end slavery is important to me because it is a human issue that impacts and affects all of us. I learned that we can all make a difference while this problem exists; to enable the eradication of slavery in our lifetime.
Music4Freedom: Your current exhibition “Enslaved” is a visual story of modern day slavery. How would you define modern day slavery and what do you hope to achieve with your work through this exhibition?
Lisa Kristine: I define modern day slavery as constantly being under the threat of violence, not being paid for the work you do and not having the freedom to leave.
Through my exhibition “Enslaved” I hope to make people aware that slavery exists, inspiring them to take action and be motivated to take a stand and liberate people from slavery.
Music4Freedom: For your photography series “Slavery” you shared an experience you had while photographing people who live in slavery conditions. You said “They still have dreams, of someday being freed.” What do you believe is one factor people enslaved shared at the time you took their photographs?
Lisa Kristine: HOPE is what united and defined them. Hope united them in the sense they had hope and longed for their freedom, even while enslaved.
Music4Freedom: In interviews, you have shared that domestic violence and slavery are similar, why do you believe this to be true?
Lisa Kristine: Slavery is similar to domestic violence in the sense that victims are constantly under the threat of violence.
Music4Freedom: What is your message to young people who have just learned slavery still exists and want to take action but don’t know where to begin?
Lisa Kristine: There is nothing you can’t do if you believe you can. I would advise young people to begin where they are, create groups within organizations and create a roadmap for change
Music4Freedom: What is the importance of survivor voices in the mission to ending slavery worldwide?
Lisa Kristine: The voices of survivors are the most important on the ground to bring others to liberation from slavery.
“They are the heroes! Sex trafficking survivors have the greatest ability because they know how to help and they teach us how to help.” ~Lisa Kristine
Music4Freedom: What does freedom mean to you and what do you believe is the key to ending slavery worldwide?
Lisa Kristine: The key to ending slavery worldwide is Possibility. Through our work done in Unity; it’s a choice we make, to believe we can end slavery. To make people aware that slavery exists today and inspire action
“Where there is will, change is possible. We can be that change. I hope these images will awaken a force in people who view them, people like you. I hope that force will ignite a fire, and that fire will shine a light on slavery. For without that light, the beast of bondage will continue to live in the shadows.” –Lisa Kristine
Music4Freedom: We would like to thank you for joining us in this interview and sharing your work with the world so they might be aware of the existence of modern day slavery and be motivated to take action
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To learn more about Lisa Kristine visit: www.lisakristine.com
Lisa’s “Slavery” series can be seen and purchased here: http://www.lisakristine.com/slavery-standard-book/