Voice of Freedom Showcase 9th July 2015

Voice of Freedom works with women who have escaped trafficking and torture, bringing the voices of the enslaved to a wide public for the very 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.

This work was created by Helen Bamber Foundation clients who participated in the Voice of Freedom project. Project Director Leila Segal, in partnership with PhotoVoice.


 

This work was created by clients of the Helen Bamber Foundation who participated in the Voice of Freedom project. Project Director Leila Segal, in partnership with PhotoVoice.

© Fruit of Love/Voice of Freedom/PhotoVoice

When I took this photo I felt my dried-up life. It symbolises us – refugees. In others’ eyes we are like this – lifeless. But we have had life, and we can still have life. Please do not treat us like waste. With time we become different life forms – without us, these already withered leaves or husks, how would the earth become nutritious again?
– Fruit of Love

 

 

 

 

I like this picture – it’s like the path of life. This old couple is walking with a little dog in the forest, without haste. And a young man is running – that is lively youth. When youth is gone, will you be able to enjoy what’s left?
– Fruit of Love

 

 

 

 

 

Shadows are powerful. They are easy to tell a story from. And you don’t see shadows when it’s dark – you can only see shadows through a light. In this picture I feel secure because I’m in the middle of people… shadows of people. They are protecting me from danger.
– Bibi

 

 

 

 

When I was in primary school, all the girls in the class wore this crown, like a model – it’s like a game; the girls like a princess and the man like a prince. The teacher told us to do this. It was very, very good. When I was that age – primary school – I was so happy, and I like to remember everything. In my life, the first time, I like to remember everything – when I was young… The beginning time… But now, I don’t like to remember anything.

– Gena Cupi

 

 

PhotoVoice Helen Bamber Foundation

 

 

 

You have to trust people, but first you have to know them. You have to get close to them – not just see from far away. This picture uses perspective to
express the idea of trust. In the foreground it is me, and in the background another person. I trusted my boyfriend and I went to live with him, but he lied to me. He said, “I am going to marry you.” He worked like this – to sell women. He just came to meet people, like a girlfriend, and he took them to sell.
– Gena Cupi

 

PhotoVoice Helen Bamber Foundation

These two people walking along, holding hands, look as if they are happy. All relationships should be like this. I’m talking about myself – I didn’t have that luck to be happy with the boy I loved. When you are very young, you feel different, you think differently, and things that are wrong seem right.
– Gena Cupi

 

 

 

 

PhotoVoice Helen Bamber FoundationI took this because it makes me feel more light, relaxed. The lights are yellow like a sun… and white like a moon. If I see something ugly it makes me feel sad and ask, “Why is this? Why is that?” If I see something beautiful – light, bright – it makes me feel the world is good; you have to live in this world.
– Gena Cupi

 

PhotoVoice Helen Bamber Foundation

 

 

 

Now it’s Christmas, and I like presents. I like to get them from Mummy and Daddy, but it’s not possible. I took this picture but my parents are so far away
from me and they can’t give me presents now. I think one day my dreams will come true and I will get a present from them. I would like to have a present from my Mummy and Daddy.
– Gena Cupi

 

 

This picture tells something about war. Destruction, war… After the war there is still more war. Most people have their own gods. They pray to their gods to stop disaster.
– Bibi

You are going to be depressed or angry if you lose what is valuable to you. It depends on what you lose as well.

– Bibi

 

Most things you see in London are coloured red. Most of the things in the country I come from are green.

– Bibi

 

 

 

 

 

This picture reminds me of voodoo and hoodoo – in Africa most people worship idols as their god. They pray to them for protection.
– Bibi

In my country, it doesn’t matter how good you are, it matters if you know someone. The boys don’t have anything else to do and they sell drugs, and take girls and sell them. They kill girls. Some girls try to escape and they kill them. They go to schools and they chase them until they can’t run. It’s really dangerous, everywhere. You can’t enforce your rights; your rights are lost.

– Nili Cupi

It is really dangerous in Albania and women don’t want to go back. The women try to explain what happened to them in Albania, but people don’t understand.
I know girls who have harmed themselves and committed suicide because of the harsh time.
– Nili Cupi

 

 

It’s not only beauty that matters. What matters is the things inside a woman, the things she does. Her nature is to care for things, but the traffickers treat her like rubbish. I would like to change the opinion of these men, and to say tothem: “if a woman doesn’t want to do these things, don’t abuse her.”
– Nili Cupi

 

 

This mannequin has no head: trafficked women don’t show their identity – it doesn’t matter. All that matters is the body, how they look, so they can make

money for the traffickers. Everyone has a right to be a part of the world – free and not captives who can only show and sell their bodies.
– Nili Cupi

 

 

 

 

When I took this picture I thought of freedom. Freedom is very important. Some women don’t have freedom for years. Not having freedom is the worst thing – having freedom is the most amazing thing. Just being free and living your life.
– Nili Cupi

 

I decided to take photographs in our church to show people how it is different. There are a lot of Catholic churches, but they’re not all like mine. This is the Ethiopian Orthodox church. These blue and white clothes are special – you wear them only in Church. The people in the special clothes sing in front of
everyone else.
– Haimanot

 

 

 

 

PhotoVoice Helen Bamber FoundationThis is a square, and that’s where you put the seeds when you’re farming. You make a square in the ground to put the seeds. My father is a farmer. Farming is very hard work. Sometimes the weather is difficult, sometimes it is very hot and there is no water. Sometimes there is rain in the night, and wind, and all the plants die. When I see something like this I am happy because I remember my father.
– Haimanot

 

PhotoVoice Helen Bamber FoundationWhen I look at this picture I have a memory of detention. My life was like this. When I see the gate and the key, I remember things about my life – secrets, things that are inside. A lock belongs to you – you can open it if you want to, or keep it closed. But if you lockeverything inside your heart it’s very bad for you. If you tell people about your difficult life they can help you. Don’t be afraid to tell.

– Haimanot

 

 

 

The puppet looks so lonely in the shop window, as he looks out into the street at the scenery. He seems to be saying, “Why are we different? Why can’t we
go out there?” This is also our heart’s voice. We also have our stories. Why can’t we go out there?
– Fruit of Love

 

PhotoVoice Helen Bamber Foundation

Leaves that fall from the mother tree are usually destroyed by time, but these leaves have fallen and they are still beautiful. Helen Bamber was such a strong, steadfast woman. She has left a beautiful memory. Although she, like us, was a fallen leaf, she has left her mark.
– Fruit of Love

 

 

 

This plant is without soil, and with hailstones, but it’s still growing. In Chinese we have a saying “on top of the snow there’s another the frost.” In other words, all the hardship is falling on us. There are still more things to come and trouble us even though we are already in hardship.
– Fruit of Love