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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Forgotten Girls’ remembered for

    Surrounded by artwork from the Forgotten Girls exhibit, Mike Danielsh, owner of Sundance Data Technologies Inc., works on his laptop in the Kachina Gallery at the Student Union Memorial Center on Monday afternoon.
    Surrounded by artwork from the ‘Forgotten Girls’ exhibit, Mike Danielsh, owner of Sundance Data Technologies Inc., works on his laptop in the Kachina Gallery at the Student Union Memorial Center on Monday afternoon.

    The Kachina Gallery in the Student Union Memorial Center is a little-known hideaway where students can see work by artists from around the world. During a break, students can venture to the second floor of the Student Union for their daily serving of thought-provoking art.

    The Kachina Gallery’s latest exhibition, “”Forgotten Girls”” by Jill Renee Smith, brings amazing art and information focusing on exposing the realities of the trafficking of women for sexual exploitation.

    As both an artistic and learning experience, Smith’s work uses found objects and juxtaposes them for the most poignant effect. “”Forgotten Girls”” is especially pertinent because the month of March is Women’s History Month and this exhibit is one of many events that the Women’s Resource Center is bringing to the UA.

    “”What really surprised me is the way that poverty plays a great deal in sex trafficking,”” said Samantha Porter, a sophomore majoring in women’s studies and family and consumer sciences. “”They target women and girls who come from low socio-economic backgrounds and they trick them. They advertise for housekeepers and nannies and they take their passports and their money and throw them into this brothel and basically you owe this debt to them for getting you across the country.””

    Porter helped bring “”Forgotten Girls”” to the UA to help raise awareness of the problem of sex trafficking.

    Each work in the exhibit tells a story through metaphoric images and concisely informative captions. The same outline image of a little girl, whose 2-D representation makes her seem like a paper doll, can be found throughout the works, making her the faceless embodiment for every girl who suffers in this system of trickery and slavery.

    “”Innocent Target”” features a little girl dressed up like a doll with a target behind her, the bull’s-eye being a dollar sign. At her feet there is a row of generic female forms similar to those found on restroom signs, illustrating that she is only one of the many faceless girls in line for exploitation. The caption explains that sexual trafficking is the third-largest for-profit crime industry in America and an estimated $7-9 billion are made from it every year.

    Some pieces focus on the people and organizations that work to help women, like “”First Aid for A Bleeding Heart.””

    “”Everyone who’s seen the works has been absolutely moved by it,”” said Porter. “”It’s really powerful and it actually does make people want to change the world. It makes you want to protect your fellow sisters and stop the horrors that are going on in the world.””

    “”Boys aren’t Exempt from Trafficking”” reads the work “”Betsy and Billy”” by Deborah South. This piece reminds viewers that sex trafficking affects both genders, and it happens right under our noses.

    In 2004, Arizona resident Jean Succar Krui was arrested for organizing sex parties to Mexico. This trade is called “”sexual tourism”” and Kuri brought people from around the United States to partake in sex crimes against children as young as six years old.

    “”I learned about sex trafficking in one of my women’s studies classes and I was horrified by what happens to these girls when they enter this ring of trafficking and prostitution,”” said Porter. “”Jill really raises awareness of this issue because a lot of people don’t know much about it and I thought it would be an interesting thing to bring to the UA.””

    “”Forgotten Girls”” can be viewed in the Kachina Gallery through March 28.

    For more information about “”Forgotten Girls”” and to learn about the trafficking of women, go to www.forgottengirls.com.

    For more information about other upcoming Women’s History Month events, visit the Women’s Resource Center online at wrc.asua.arizona.edu.

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