One of the founding principles of Free the Slaves is that we must show the world that slavery still exists. That has meant traveling to distant and dangerous places to film the brutality of slavery today, as well as to showcase innovative ways to end it.
Over the years, FTS has been fortunate to work with one of the world’s best photographers, Robin Romano.
Whether it was hundreds of feet below ground inside illegal gold mines, or hundreds of miles upcountry at fishing camps or in rebel conflict zones, Robin did what it took to present visual proof of slavery’s reality to the world.
Robin died late last year, and fellow activists in the Child Labor Coalition are gathering over the next few days in New York and Washington, D.C. to celebrate the life of an exemplary activist, gadfly, award-winning human rights photographer and filmmaker, artist and friend.
- New York: Saturday, February 8th at 1 p.m., St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, 131 East 10th Street.
- Washington: Thursday, February 13th at 4:30 p.m. at the National Education Association, 1201 16th Street, NW. Register here.
You can see some of Robin’s amazing FTS work about rehabilitating child soldier slaves in Uganda and the rescue of child fishing slaves in Ghana on the FTS Vimeo page. His own website is here.
The Free the Slaves staff will miss Robin, and our thoughts are with his family. Others who have worked with him will miss Robin, too:
“You were far more than just a photographer/videographer, but I want to say just a word about that aspect of your amazing life. I have thousands of your photos in boxes at home, the remnants of many projects we worked on together. I have looked again at many of these photos since you died, and recall vividly how you had an amazing knack for seeing in your subjects, mostly children, the spark of dignity and humanity that had often been almost crushed by their life circumstances. And you had an uncanny ability to encourage these subjects to show that spark.” –Pharis Harvey on Media Voices for Children blog.
“Robin was always covered in cameras. He was a one man show. He shot stills, video, took sound, did interviews. He filled every vacuum. He didn’t know how to delegate. He hated sharing. He wanted everything perfect and was willing to pay the price of doing it all himself. The price was physical exhaustion, illness, a candle burning at both ends. He was one of the finest natural light videographers I have known in forty years as a director-editor. And still his photographs are among the best the world has ever seen. This was the Robin I knew, working to take the perfect picture that would tell the story of a child’s life, and of our world’s indifference in one frozen second.” –Len Morris on Media Voices for Children blog.