It is very funny how the people I felt most alienated from were in fact the people I was most alike. I was never been a victim of human trafficking, nor have I experienced any kind of violence. My life was somewhat perfect. I was always known as the good girl. I was the girl who never committed a sin; I was an angel. I had a great reputation; men respected men and young girls looked up to me. I did well in school. I loved my family. I loved myself. I loved my life.
However, for some reason, deep inside I did not feel that way. I felt blessed. But, I did not feel like the angel I was supposed to be. I felt tainted, like the women I was working with. For the last year, I worked with female victims of sex trafficking; and I used art to build confident in them.
I did not do work with just victims of sex trafficking. The organizations I worked with had a very diverse group of women. Some of the women were victims of sex trafficking, some were victims of drug abuse; there were also sex-workers, strippers, and even porn stars. All I can say is that I had a group of damaged women in one class.
To start, I am an amateur artist. I have only taken two art classes in my life. I took the Art of Acting in college and the Introduction to Art in high school. Other than that, I do not have any artistic experience. However, I do see myself as a self-proclaimed artist. I see art as an everyday thing for me. I try to incorporate art into my everyday life, from the way I dressed. The music I listen to, the food I ate, and the books I read… Art is one of those things I feel I needs in order for me to be me. Art makes me feel alive. Honestly, I believe people should strive to put art into their lives more. Maybe that will bring world peace.
Most people questioned my artistic abilities after I proposed this idea. Many even questioned the origin of this idea. Well, I got the idea from a human rights class and an applied feminist ethics class.
To start, I got the idea from Martha Nussbaum’s book Creating Capabilities. I read this beautiful piece of literature in an applied feminist ethics course. I found this book to be both simple and applicable. Nussbaum gave practical attributes on what people need in order to thrive in society. In her book, she discussed the importance of work, friends, and love. But, it was the emphases she placed on play that lead to this project. She said that play created optimist in a person’s life, and I wanted the women have that same optimist.
When I create this project, I wanted the women to have the opportunity to play and enjoy themselves. Note: I am using the word themselves to describes a deeper essences of personal humility. Most of the women I worked with never had the opportunity to play in life. Play was probably out of the equations. Many of them grew up without the chance to enjoy the purest forms of innocence. I feel very fortune that had the chance to play and enjoy my life.
I believe the women enjoyed these classes. I began to see a different side of them. One I never saw in Wednesday night Bible study. I worked with two local organizations in Dallas that helped victims of human trafficking. One was New Friends New Life and the other was Mosaic. I did art with both groups of women, and boy I learn a lot about life…