Modern Slavery by Xyza Cruz Bacani

Cho Why - Today

Next on Thursday 27 April, 15:00
Ended 27 April 2017
Free
Cho Why

Modern Slavery by Xyza Cruz Bacani

'Migrant workers are like air, needed to serve but invisible. They are vital in the socio economic success of a society but often treated as lower class minorities.

According to the United Nations, the number of international migrants reached 244 million in 2015. Most of them leave because the job prospects in their own countries are dismal. They work overseas so they can send money back to support their kin. As migrants, they are often taken advantage of by their employers, they are not protected by labor laws, they live in poor conditions, they work everyday and do whatever they can to save money so they can send it back to their families. Due to complicated visa and travel restrictions, these people may not even be able to travel back to visit their families for years at a time.

Labor trafficking is a global problem, which makes it harder to solve and identify. We usually do not know if a person is a victim of labor trafficking. Anyone can fall victim to traffickers, even people with college degrees. I’ve met and photographed different trafficking survivors, from teachers to managers to domestic workers. They all fall for the promise of a better life. Paying thousands of dollars to improve their economic status, they trust their traffickers to bring them to first world countries, hoping for better jobs. These people become vulnerable until they find the courage to run away and ask for help. 

I became focused on these projects because I can relate to it as a migrant worker myself for almost a decade. Maybe by giving them a platform through photography, I can magnify their voices. By telling their untold stories, maybe we can raise awareness. As I dig deeper and continue photographing the aftermath of trafficking in person, I realized that labor trafficking has no face. Anyone can be a victim. Another reason I’m doing this is to break the stigma of being a victim, and to humanize people who were trafficked. Society expects victims to look like “victims”, beaten and miserable. We often demand physical proof of abuse. We forget that these people had normal lives before they were trafficked. We forget that they are just like us, and they have families back home, which are the main reason for them to survive. They need to survive because their loved ones are expecting their monthly remittances. Maybe if we stop putting them into a box, more trafficking victims will come out and become survivors. I want to remind the society that despite what they have been through, these survivors chose to be with us, to be humans just like us. 

These intimate images of trafficking survivors in different countries going on with their daily lives, is an effort to humanize this global problem.'

Xyza Cruz Bacani
http://www.xyzacruzbacani.com/

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This exhibited has been supported by UN Women Asia and the Pacific &ausAID 
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Cho Why is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary project space in Chinatown. 

Address: Soi Nana 17, Pom Prap Sattru Phai,
Bangkok, Thailand 10100. (MRT Hua Lamphong)

For further details about this space, please contact:
[email protected]

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Ends 27 April 2017

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Cho Why

Soi Nana 17, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, CHINATOWN, Bangkok, Thailand 10100

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Cho Why
Cho Why

Soi Nana 17, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, CHINATOWN, Bangkok, Thailand 10100

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