Trafficking in America
This painting was inspired by an atlas I found in a dumpster. (What was I doing in a dumpster? Sorry, you’ll have to just use your imagination on that one. It wasn’t as gross or crazy as you think.) It was a world atlas, with detailed maps of exotic places. I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems that we’re always drawn to the exotic. Strange lands with diverse cultures and foreign languages are always just a plane ride away. Tons of friends (myself included) have ventured out to such exciting places for missions trips and service projects. Every summer, one friend or another comes back from a service trip to Tennessee or West Virginia or some other vanilla-flavored location. “Oh, that’s cool,” I usually mumble half-heartedly. What is it about caring for people in America that seems so… boring?
The issue comes up a lot in reference to sex trafficking. Friends have gone off to visit Cambodia, India, Mexico, or the Philippines and serve trafficked girls there. Now don’t hear me wrong; those projects are important and the people there are valuable. Those girls need the assistance; statistics suggest that trafficking is highly concentrated in those areas. It’s just that sometimes we fail to realize there are girls in Denver and Phoenix and even Indianapolis who need the same help. It’s not only an “over there” problem; it’s also a problem where we live.
As for the painting, I wanted it to be almost pretty. I chose the cute cursive fonts and patriotic colors to show the contradiction between “the land of the free” and the lives of the not so free girls I met over the summer. This week I am focusing on more positive subjects, however; I promise more lighthearted things are coming!