BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is partnering with the nonprofit ArtWorks for Freedom to host two powerful art exhibits that raise awareness of the hidden world of human trafficking. The exhibits are designed to educate and engage the public and the air transportation industry to help combat human trafficking. Some studies estimate that human trafficking/forced labor is a $150 billion annual industry.
One of the exhibits, “What You See Is Not Who I Am,” is on display at BWI Marshall’s D/E International Art Gallery, adjacent to the airport’s D/E security checkpoint. This multi-part mural series was created in partnership with Groundswell Community Murals of Brooklyn, N.Y. Through its Teen Empowerment Mural Apprentice program, 20 aspiring teenaged artists worked collaboratively to research, design and create the 12-panel installation that addresses sex trafficking, forced labor and agricultural exploitation.
The other exhibit, “Bought & Sold: Voices of Human Trafficking,” by ArtWorks founder and director Kay Chernush, is located in the Orientation Lobby of the airport’s Hourly Garage, near Skywalk B. Large-scale photographic images speak to the experiences and suffering of the hundreds of thousands of men, women and children caught up in human trafficking. More than 15 photographs are coupled with inspirational survivor narratives from across the globe. The “Bought & Sold” exhibit has been previously presented on three continents and in cities throughout the United States.
Artworks for Freedom is a nonprofit using the power of artistic creativity to raise awareness of human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Working locally and globally, ArtWorks seeks to illuminate the breadth, complexity and persistence of human trafficking and inspire global action at all levels of society. The organization fulfills its mission by mounting awareness campaigns in cities across the globe in collaboration with artists and arts organizations, civic associations, businesses, NGOs, faith-based organizations, foundations, educational institutions and local