Abuse is a strong word, but not as strong as the word ‘Survivor’.
Reliable statistics are rare, but the numbers involved in modern slavery are not modest. One of the most commonly overseen yet most disturbing aspects of war, amidst the violence, bombings and politic attacks is the history of child grooming, domestic violence, rape, human trafficking, sexual slavery and kidnapping as a battle strategy. The stories told by individual victims are always devastating and deeply distressing, though it must be urgently highlighted that these experiences come with wider implications for human development and growth of the globe – as many of these victims are in the early stages of their youth, modern slavery robs entire communities of the souls and promise of those who would have contributed to a change in their societies, as well as the struggle for female empowerment.
Brighton based artist Halinka T joins the growing uproar of distinguished voices raising awareness of abuse against women and children around the world. She hopes the exhibition celebrates how far we have come while acknowledging the journey is not yet over, urging us to continue building on the foundations that have led many to a new understanding and some to safety.
Having travelled around the world and lived in Bolivia for 12 years, the artist has worked closely with the indigenous people fighting for equality. As a witness to the many cultures in which the lifestyle of a woman is severely restricted to marriage and often violence, Halinka has frequently put herself in threatening situations in order to protect these women and give them freedom or a semblance of hope for change. Halinka remains deeply concerned that the fight for equality has not progressed enough and in many ways has even regressed.
The #ModernSlavery exhibition showcases 12 large sculptures of heads reflecting horrific acts of society that need to be addressed urgently. They depict impoverished mothers, slavery and the denial of women’s potential. These ironically serene sculptures remain strong and powerful and offer the viewer hope in the face of adversity.
Halinka has worked in the male dominated worlds of stone carving, metal work and mechanics to create sculpture and kinetic art, and feels she would not have been able to create her work without the help of her male colleagues who gave her the skills to use road drills and compressed air tools. In Halinka’s words: ‘Thank you for lending me your welding gear’.
The #ModernSlavery exhibition runs from 3rd – 14th September at the Naked Eye Gallery
5 Farm Mews, Farm Road
This event will be a fund raiser for charity.
Luciana Garbarni (@LucPierra)