TED talks features photographer Lisa Kristine bearing witness to modern-day slavery
An illegal mine shaft in Ghana. The brick kilns of northern India. A cabin restaurant on a side street of Kathmandu. Fishing boats on the lapping waters of Lake Volta: Over the last three years photographer Lisa Kristine has documented these sites of forced labor and human trafficking.
Ms Kristine described her journey to bear witness to the atrocities of modern-day slavery during a TED Talk in Maui earlier this year. " A conservative estimate tells us there are more than 27 million people enslaved in the world today. That's double the amount of people taken from Africa during the entire trans-Atlantic slave trade," she said.
And as it always has been, slavery today is driven by commerce and commercial interests. "The goods enslaved people produce have value. But the people that produce them are disposable," Ms Kristine stated.
Her photographs glowed behind her throughout her talk: a man's eyes shut as he carries a load of bricks on his head, gasping for breath through a cloud of dust; a woman leans against the wall of room illuminated in fluorescent light awaiting her next customer. A cloth curtain separates her from her neighbour. In one photo a young boy in an oversized purple T-shirt looks deep into the camera as his tiny hands clutch an paddle that will propel him from the water's edge deep into the lake for his long day at work.
"I truly believe, if we can see one another as fellow human beings, then it becomes very difficult to tolerate atrocities like slavery. These images are not of issues. They are of people, real people, like you and me, all deserving of the same rights, dignity and respect in their lives."
Watch her full length talk here:
Find more Ted talks here.
Find out more about Lisa Kristine here.