Bronze 2017 Book / People

Faces Behind Atrocities

  • Prize
    Bronze in Book/People
  • Photographer
    Matilde Simas

Human trafficking is globally pervasive, economically motivated, and emotionally overwhelming. The exhibit “ Faces Behind Atrocities” are portraits of 7 young women, ages 13-16, from 4 different nationalities who have been rescued from the horrors of the trafficking world and are in the healing process. In collaboration with the survivors, Matilde Simas worked to provide a forum for healing through art. In this portrait series low lighting was used to evoke a mood of deception and secrecy that has been endured. In a pure example of courage, many of these woman chose to hide their faces behind a mask to protect their identity. In addition to providing a visual representation of their resilience, beauty, and strength, each woman recorded a written testimony of how they were lead into trafficking and the atrocities they faced.A Kenyan based nonprofit, HAART Kenya, granted Matilde access to their organization to document the healing process of these young women. HAART Kenya works exclusively on combatting human trafficking in Kenya and empowering its victims.

Matilde Simas is an American documentary photographer and founder of Capture Humanity based in the Greater Boston area. Her work focuses heavily on the beauty of the human spirit and aims to show the dignity of every subject. Matilde’s travels have brought her around the world, where she examines the theme of human rights and attempts to capture – with the utmost respect and admiration – the resilience of human beings. Her greater Boston-based organization Capture Humanity is dedicated to bringing issues of human rights violations to light using creative storytelling to advocate change.