Voice of Freedom works with women who have escaped trafficking and torture, bringing the voices of the enslaved to a wide public for the first time. The project enables the women to document their lives, feelings and experiences through the camera lens, and supports them as they create texts in their own words to accompany the images.
‘Without projects like this, I could not think about my future. Without an opportunity like this, I simply could not be here, be there, be anywhere’ – Fruit of love
Voice of Freedom works within the discipline of participatory photography – a recognised tool for advocacy and social activism. Participants are supported as they create their own photographic work – a facilitator works with the group, teaching them to use a camera so they can define, communicate and improve their situation.
‘It is really dangerous in Albania and women don’t want to go back. After so much suffering, they got away. The women try to explain what happened to them, but people don’t understand. I know girls who have harmed themselves and committed suicide because of the harsh time, but you have to wait. Try to do things carefully and not be part of the danger.’ – Nili Cupi
The women are given the opportunity to become activists and educators. We build long-term relationships with our participants, and will continue work with some of the women who are returning to Ethiopia, supporting them in their home communities as they educate other young people who are at risk of trafficking.
‘I had thought about it myself – that I would portray the experience, and teach others. That’s what I was planning to
do when I go back to Ethiopia. It doesn’t matter what
the consequences are – whatever demands it makes, I’ll do it because I just have to tell the story.’ – Zenebech Zeleke
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All photographs sole copyright the photographer
‘Workshop by the sea’ © Desta Getaneh, 2013. /Voice of Freedom/PhotoVoice
‘They kill girls’ © Nili Cupi, 2015. /Voice of Freedom/PhotoVoice
‘Dolls’ © Nili Cupi, 2015. /Voice of Freedom/PhotoVoice
Voice of Freedom is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (10957337). Registered office 7 St John’s Road, Harrow, Middlesex HA1 2EY.