Over the course of three months, two survivor leaders from Azadi Kenya and three Loewenstern fellows from Rice University have been learning about ethical storytelling and participatory photography. This art exhibition is the culmination of their work and showcases their different stories in a series of photographs, photostories, zines, and written narratives. The topics of these works range from human trafficking to self-discovery to family relationships. Ultimately, the goals of the Ethical Storytelling and Participatory Photography Fellowship are two-fold. First, the fellowship aims to equip participants with the tools necessary to effectively tell their stories through artistic expression. Second, the fellowship aims to share the voices of survivors with the general public to raise awareness and inspire advocacy for a survivor-centred, trauma-informed future. Above all, we hope that the works produced by our fellows evoke something – whether that be happiness, loss, or grief, we believe that these threads of emotions are the beginnings of mutual understanding and respect of our each and every unique, lived experience.
This exhibition is organised by Azadi, and supported by 'Skills Won't Just Help Us Survive They Will Help Us Thrive' (University of Nottingham's Rights Lab) and Women Forward International.
Meet the Artists
Willz is an advocate of anti-human trafficking, and a researcher in the anti-human
trafficking field, a feminist, a survivor leader, and someone passionate about giving back
to the community through mediums of photography, videography and writing.
A survivor leader and a research consultant at Azadi Kenya. I am a humanitarian and I have a professional interest in writing and photography. As an avid reader and an aspiring writer, I dream of being a powerful storyteller as I find it, not only therapeutic but as an art form to express myself in my day-to-day experiences.
Celeste is a third-year student at Rice University in Houston, TX. Celeste loves art and has been taking art lessons since she was five years old, however, this is her first time learning photography. She is passionate about the different ways that writing and art play an impact in not only telling one’s story, but also in a therapeutic sense for one’s wellbeing.
Tiffany is a third-year undergraduate student at Rice University in Houston, TX studying cell biology and genetics. Apart from her interests in biology, with a specific focus on environmental health, she is interested in examining the intricacies of human relationships. Her artwork aims to deconstruct the unconscious biases that color our perceptions of others, and to portray the difficulty and beauty of reconciliation.
Ruoqing Wang was born in Beijing, China. She is currently studying Political Science and Economics in Houston, Texas, USA. She is passionate about international relations and social innovation. In her free time, she loves to practice Chinese folk dance and contemporary dance. She also hopes to travel to all seven continents.