Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation and Ewa’a Shelters for Victims of Human Trafficking
open a five-day long art exhibition, presenting and selling pieces created by survivors of
(Abu Dhabi, UAE: 11 May 2015): Under the patronage of Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the UAE, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, Chairwoman of Motherhood and Childhood Supreme Council, Honorary President of the Women Committee at the Red Crescent Society, and inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan – Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) and the UAE based humanitarian shelters, Ewa’a Shelters for Victims of Human Trafficking (Ewa’a), last night opened Silent Voices IV – a five day exhibition which aims to raise awareness of the ongoing issue of human trafficking in the UAE.
Open in Yas Mall’s Pearl Court until May 14, the exhibition will raise funds for Ewa’a through the sale of artworks created by 24 women recovering from human trafficking in Ewa’a Shelters across the UAE in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
Returning for the fourth edition following the success of previous years, Silent Voices IV is displaying and selling over 80 pieces of art ranging from AED 150 to AED 7000, including works on canvas, tables, chairs and plates created by Ewa’a women and child victims of human trafficking, each one telling an individual story. Centered around a monumental installation of ten human-sized fiberglass bowling pins decorated by survivors in acrylic, ceramic and mosaic, the exhibition represents the courage and strength of the human spirit. A large number of handicrafts and decorative plates made with decoupage guided by volunteer, Fatima Ahmed, are also on show.
Following the opening of the exhibition, H.E. Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), said: “The strength, courage and determination of the women of Ewa’a is to be admired. From artworks that convey the fear and darkness of life, to pieces that reflect optimism and desire to reinvent the future, we can see the positive impact art can have on people during their rehabilitation. The issue of human trafficking is something that needs to be brought to the fore, and I greatly admire the team at Ewa’a for their commitment and determination to help these women on the road to recovery through the power of art.”
Given one-on-one weekly art classes over a period of four months with professional UAE based artist, Jennifer Simon, the arts initiative has aimed to strengthen and build the confidence of survivors, while also raising much needed funds for the survivors to start re-building their lives.
H.E. Sara Shuhail, General Director, Ewa’a Shelters for Victims of Human Trafficking, said: “Today, we are experiencing a new stage in the victims’ lives. The Federal Law No. 51 of 2006 which was acceded by Law No. 1 of 2015 is helping something very important to happen – the right for a victim to penalize traffickers and get compensation. Ewa’a Shelters have already started taking the required actions to help victims gain compensation from their guilty trafficker. This amendment, along with donations, will greatly benefit the victims of human trafficking and help us in our efforts to rehabilitate them and make them re-integrate in society after they are recovered.”
Federal Law No. 51 of 2006 was the start of official UAE initiatives to combat the phenomenon of human trafficking locally, and enhance the UAE’s role in world initiatives aimed at eliminating human trafficking crimes. To support and apply this law, the Ewa’a Shelters for women and child victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation was established under the auspices of the Red Crescent Authority as a result of the government plans and initiatives in combatting human trafficking.
Silent Voices IV takes place in the Pearl Court of Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi May 10th – 14th. Open daily,10am – 10pm.