New Art Exhibit Highlights Human Trafficking in the United States

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Photograph titled “Are Butterflies Really Free” is one of the main pieces featured at the exhibit. Black and white photograph “Decision Time” depicts a human trafficking victim. Photos courtesy of Susan Buzzi.

Modern-day slavery is coming to light in the latest Miami Gardens art exhibit.

“Responsibility & Vigilance: A Visual Examination of Domestic Servitude, Forced Labor & Human Trafficking in the United States” is coming to St. Thomas University starting Feb. 22. 

It will contain various artworks by Susan Buzzi, the artist behind the exhibit, to spread awareness — including a focus on human trafficking of LGBT victims.

“Trafficked victims from the LGBTQ community are a specific demographic population; sometimes overlooked, with a number of distinct issues,” said Buzzi. “Comprehensive statistics are somewhat limited; however available information reflects reported cases in human trafficking are domestic with gay men and juveniles in particular at risk and HIV as a main concern. These victims are especially vulnerable and fragile; and in most circumstances in need of increased counseling and support services.“ 

Artist Susan Buzzi’s piece “Derailment” is a woodcut black and white piece featured on the cover of the exhibit catalog. Photo courtesy of Buzzi.

 

According to the Human Trafficking Hotline, 7,572 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2016. Florida has the third highest cases of human trafficking at 550, followed by Texas and California in the number one slot.

The number one type of trafficking is sex trafficking, making up 5,551 of the cases last year. 70 of the cases in 2016 involved gender minorities.

Buzzi is a former law enforcement officer who now considers herself an educator, coach practitioner and victim advocate. She works with at-risk youth and victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and rape. She is an alumna and professor at St. Thomas University, where the exhibit will be displayed.

The series began several years ago when Buzzi created posters for the Human Trafficking Academy for STU’s School of Law. There are now 40 pieces in the collection, and the exhibit will also include several survivor pieces.

“Indeed, I consider this truly an extraordinary opportunity to present this important subject matter ... to engage the community in this critical conversation which affects us all.”

 

 

If You Go:

“Responsibility & Vigilance Art Exhibit”

Opening reception Feb. 22 at 2 p.m.

St. Thomas University

Archbishop John C. Favalora Archive & Museum (located in the Main Library)

16401 NW 37 Ave.

Miami Gardens, FL 33054


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