Freedom Expressions ATL was a project of IHTI aimed at building public awareness about human trafficking by using art as a means to engage diverse audiences in public spaces. The project included art exhibitions and public service announcements (PSAs) from May 22 to Aug. 31, 2015 at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Project partners included the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Delta Airlines, and CREWS.
The project featured artwork from local students and professionals that addressed the issue of human trafficking. Curators exhibited work from student artists in Terminal E and professional artists in the Atrium. Two PSAs were produced and broadcast on a continuous loop on video monitors in the Atrium while also being shown hourly on CNN monitors throughout the airport.
One of the PSAs broadcast through the airport
On May 22, 2015 Freedom Expressions ATL opened at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with a successful reception that included a survivor of human trafficking, members of the local press, executive staff from the office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed as well as representatives from IHTI, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, CREWS, Delta Airlines, the artists and their guests, airport personnel, and other invited guests.
CNN Coverage of the Airport Exhibit
City of Atlanta Gallery 72 Exhibit
At the request of the Airport Art Program Manager, the Freedom Expressions ATL project timeline was extended for two weeks beyond its initial planned de-installation date at the Airport. Following this date, the professional artwork was re-mounted at the City of Atlanta’s Gallery 72 where it was further exhibited from September 10 to October 12, 2015 under the banner of “Freedom Expressions ATL II, Ghost Slavery: Art Against Human Trafficking.” During this exhibit, weekly programming events including an opening reception, artists’ talk, film screening, and public forum were held to reinforce the message of the artwork.
An artist with his work at the Gallery 72 Opening Reception
Fall 2015 Events on College Campuses
From late October through November, the project was again re-constituted under the original title of Freedom Expressions ATL to bring artwork and films addressing human trafficking to college campuses in metro Atlanta. Over the course of this time, a 26-panel outdoor photo installation and 12-panel outdoor mural installation were exhibited at six locations, over 10 films addressing human trafficking were screened; and a conceptual art piece that uses red sand and cracks in the sidewalk as a metaphor for victims of human trafficking that fall through the cracks of society was installed at four locations. Student leaders were integral in planning and executing film screenings and discussions.
Opening of the mural installation “What You See is Not Who I Am” at Georgia State University