April 14th 2014 - Fresno, CA - Human trafficking is an alarming, but seldom
discussed, social issue. It is the second largest criminal industry next to
drug trafficking. More than 800,000 people are trafficked across borders each
Though human trafficking, a primary threat to
freedom, has received media attention lately, it is becoming more prevalent.
With up to 27 million enslaved worldwide and January recently proclaimed as
National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month, there is no doubt that
the availability of freedom is a pressing social issue.
In order to increase the awareness of people about
human trafficking, Team Donahue Photography has launched a Kickstarter campaign
to document the nuances of human trafficking in a series of photographs. Documentary
and photographer couple Thomas and Jennifer Donahue aims to travel to Tanzania,
South Africa and Thailand to capture the different aspects of human trafficking
and compile these photographs in a photobook that will enable others to have a
glimpse into the effects of human trafficking.
Their project compares how freedom is defined and
experienced across borders. With the belief that culture is individually as well as communally
experienced, the couple aims to show that freedom is much more than the right
to “life, liberty and security of person” as The Universal Declaration of Human
Rights states. Their work furthers a view of freedom, not as an inalienable
right, but as a state and cause worth supporting.
Human rights issues are especially prevalent in the regions they
are traveling to. Thailand is home to over 2.8 million sex
workers, 800,000 of whom are minors. Tanzania is listed on the US Department of
State's Tier 2 human rights watch list. Similarly, South Africa is commonly
regarded as the main country of destination for trafficked persons in the
region and over 30,000 children are currently prostituted in the country.
The couple is also planning to interview numerous
people to determine how people in different cultures define freedom. Prior to the
interviews, they will spend time familiarizing themselves with the communities
by volunteering at shelters and rehabilitation centers. By doing this, they are
assured that they will not just be emphasizing the concept of freedom, but will
be deeply engaging with the communities they are visiting.
In sharing the stories
and images of women who operate their own businesses, or girls who are able to
continue their schooling, alongside the narrative of oppression and
exploitation, Defining Freedom will call viewers to support, rather than
pity, marginalized populations.
For more information about the project that Thomas and Jennifer Donahue are promoting, visit http://kck.st/1oyZVlH
Thomas and Jennifer Donahue
1612 Fulton St.
Fresno, CA 93721
Team Donahue Photography
Contact person: Jennifer Donahue, co-owner