March 20th, 2009
One of the “benefits” of having done a lot of reading of articles, journals, and reports, plus doing a little bit of field work, means I’ve got some understanding of they dynamics of human trafficking. Combine this with nearly ten years of documenting how sexual violence affects individuals and communities, then stir in a heavy helping of multimedia and, viola! You’ve got someone who can speak with professionals about messaging, social change, and communication associated with sexual violence and human trafficking.
As these things happen, by knowing someone who knows someone, I ended up consulting for the World Affairs Council and the US State Department’s Foreign Visitor program. The way this works is a group of people–in my case, government and non-government leaders or the up-and-coming–do a tour of the U.S. on the State Department’s dime learning how we are coping with certain issues. It’s a goodwill gesture and, in my opinion, a means of helping spread the “American Way.” The World Affairs Council helps connect the visitors with local experts, whose ranks I’ve joined.
This spring I’ve spoken with teams from Malaysia and Hungary, presenting them with some of my multimedia work and discussing how these tools could be employed in their work. When we wrap up, there is always an invitation; come visit, come work with us. Considering that some of these people are on the front line of the anti-human trafficking fight, I wish I could. But neither of us has the funding.
(Below: Hungarians watch “Cambodia: Victim to Survivor” and the S.A.N.E. video for the FEAR Project)
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