Through this project, Groundswell partnered with ArtWorks for Freedom (AWFF), an innovative non-profit founded by award-winning photographer Kay Chernush, to create “What You See Is Not Who I Am,” a panel series designed by teen artists, to be used as part of AWFF’s Global Cities Awareness Campaigns.
Human trafficking and infringement upon basic human rights is a growing industry – one that must be both addressed and stopped. Working under the guidance of Lead Artist Nicole Schulman and Assistant Artist Edwin Vazquez, Groundswell youth participating in our Teen Empowerment Mural Apprenticeship program faced this issue head on through the creation of a multi-panel installation. During the process of research, design, and fabrication, Groundswell youth learned about the growing epidemic of human trafficking and discovered that New York is no exception in the industry. Youth artists collaboratively created twelve panels; each panel represents a different human right and a different way human trafficking hurts people around the world.
The youth hope that the mural series can spark a new awareness of human trafficking, and that the series will inspire others to take the steps needed to free these many people from their bounds.