Kathmandu,23 November,2014: Photographs speak in a language that exceeds words. They can stir peopleâ€™s minds and hearts in a way few art forms can. Photographer Lisa Kristineâ€™s photographs, which are currently hanging on the walls of Siddhartha Art Gallery, do more than just make watchers wonder at the reality depicted.
Kristine is an acclaimed humanitarian photographer who has worked in over 100 countries, documenting the lives of people, the beauty as well as the obscurity of our knitted world. She tries to initiate dialogues on social issues through her photographs of people living in thorny circumstances.
Her current project at SAG, titled â€œEnslavedâ€, is a body of photographs illuminating human slavery in the modern-day world. The 20 photographs from across different countries, like Nepal, India, Ghana and the US, illustrate the harrowing lives of people forced into (sometimes unpaid) labour in the least humane of situations.
In one photo, Kofi, a little Ghanaian boy, water droplets clinging to his face and body, gazes forlornly at the viewer, one of his cheeks resting on his palms. Another photograph shows two little brothers clasping each otherâ€™s hands, carrying large slabs of stones from a stone quarryâ€”the stones visibly outweigh their carriers; the photo speaks volumes about the condition of child labourers in our own country.
Then there are photographs of labourers in brick kilns in Nepal and India; in the silk-dying trade and brothels in India; in illegal gold mineshafts; and at a fishing lake in Ghana.
The photographs, taken in various times and places, have the power to move viewers because they portray the struggles that labourers have to take up merely to make a living. To survive.
Kristine has said in a statement about her photographs: â€œI know that if we see one another as fellow human beings, it becomes difficult to tolerate abuses like slavery. And I want to shine a light on this; only then is it possible to make a change. Photography transcends languages and I can show these images anywhere in the world.â€™â€™
Kristine has been much recognised for her collaboration with the NGO Free the Slaves, which seeks to shed light on the issue of contemporary slavery. She was the sole exhibitor at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009. She also won the 2013 Lucie Humanitarian Award, which honours the achievement of master photographs around the world.
The photo exhibition is a part of the â€œTaught Not Traffickedâ€ campaign, an initiative of Childreach Nepal, which seeks to raise awareness about the plight of child trafficking in Nepal.
The exhibition will run till November 25.