Slavery Survivors Paint Messages of Hope to Slaves Still in Bondage

They said it simply, and artistically: Freedom is possible. The artists were slavery survivors in northern India, members of the Federation of Former Slaves, organized by the Free the Slaves frontline partner group MSEMVS. Their mission was to create a gesture of solidarity and hope for those still enslaved. Both adults and children joined in. The […]

By Staff

October 7, 2013

They said it simply, and artistically: Freedom is possible.

The artists were slavery survivors in northern India, members of the Federation of Former Slaves, organized by the Free the Slaves frontline partner group MSEMVS.

Their mission was to create a gesture of solidarity and hope for those still enslaved. Both adults and children joined in.

The adults painted an illustration that depicts communities getting organized, demanding their rights, and overcoming the agents of slavery in India’s brick manufacturing industry.

The children painted a tree of freedom, showing that employment, health, food, land, human rights, schooling and playtime are the fruits of independence from slaveholders.

Painting by adults

children india tree of freedomThe canvases were sent to a meeting of enslaved brick kiln workers in the state of Odisha. Every year, thousands of impoverished Odisha villagers are taken by traffickers to brick factories far from home, where they are forced to work 12-15 hours a day for six months without pay.

The villagers of Odisha are just beginning to get organized to resist traffickers and slavery. The inspirational canvases helped communicate that those who are now free stand ready to help.

Learn more about Free the Slaves programs in India on our India webpage, including video of Free the Slaves teaching child slavery survivors how to paint.

 

 

Can you help end the conditions that cause modern slavery?

Related Posts

Story of a Migrant Worker

Story of a Migrant Worker

West India is one of the largest migration corridors in the world. It’s estimated that 9 million Indian migrants are working in the Persian Gulf region. Many are employed in low-profile jobs such as construction jobs, food service, or even domestic positions....

read more
Raising Awareness in Schools

Raising Awareness in Schools

“One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai. Children are like clay. We can mold them into any shape and form just by our actions or our words. If we take the time to educate children, FTS and our partners believe that many...

read more