ArtWorks for Freedom and the Torpedo Factory Art Center are proud to present The Golden Doors to Freedom, a participatory art venture that turns abandoned doors into dramatic vehicles for a communal focus on human trafficking and the healing nature of art. Amateur “artist” participants include trafficking survivors and potential allies among the public — students, professional associations, artists, educators, civic and faith-based organizations, media and other affinity groups).
Conceived by master gilder William Adair and photographer Kay Chernush, trafficking survivors and the various groups convert discarded wooden doors into freedom portals. Using 23k gold leaf, participants write, stencil, draw, scratch, burnish and embellish the doors with their own thoughts about trafficking. As survivors transform a “piece of junk” into a compelling work of art, they can see new possibilities for their own lives. For allies the process awakens feelings of empathy and connection.
Human trafficking involves the use of force, coercion, or fraud to induce an individual into performing a commercial sex act (sex trafficking), or to subject them to involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or slavery (labor trafficking). 8,042 cases of human trafficking were recorded in the U.S. in 2016. Globally, the International Labour Organization estimates over 20.9 million victims of human trafficking (more than the total populations of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Philadelphia combined). Of that 20.9 million people, 68% of them are trapped in forced labor, 26% of them are children, and 55% are women and girls.
Visitors to the Torpedo Factory Art Center will experience all 12 doors, exhibited for the first time, on view in the main hall. The Golden Doors open opportunities for reflection, engagement, and action, providing a powerful public and visual representation of the commitment to eradicate human trafficking. By creating freedom portals, survivors and allies together became a force for social change.
Reception, Thursday November 9
7:15 pm – South Hall
Reception for the Golden Doors Project. Michael McKeown, Executive Director, Homeland Security Advisory Council and Campaigns, will speak about the importance of this arts project in the face of global human trafficking.