What can we do? (WARNING: real life)
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  1. #1
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    What can we do? (WARNING: real life)

    Some time ago I saw a documentary called "Born Into Brothels", its about a photographer who tries to teach some children on the red light district the art of photography. She struggles to find a way to change the ultimate outcome of the children becoming prostitues themselves. Being a parent myself, this documentary moved me into action. After searching around, I came accross this film company called Priority Films. Ive been doing some pro-bono work for them since, anything I can do for them-graphics, UN materials, etc.. They are working on a project called The K11 project, trying to expose the Cambodian child trafficking, prostitution and exploitation.
    According to the UN, over two million children, some under the age of five,
    are trafficked and sold to prostitution each year.

    Not only in cambodia, but throughout the world...some as close as Canada. Undoubtedly, it happens in the US as well. (Google: child prostitution)
    Priority Films have started a campaign called The Red Light Children Campaign, visit them if you get anything out of this post, I hope that this link goes into your bookmarks.
    Ok then, to the art portion of the post...aside my "real" work and the fun n games at the challenge arena here, I have decided to start a series of paintings depicting the psychological pain and emotional suffering that a child in that situation may encounter. I want to place the viewer in the eyes of the child, I want to sit them in the room before and after the abuse,rape, torture has happened. I want the pain to jump off the canvas right into their hearts. I want the first words to come out of their mouths to be something on the lines of "SWEET MOTHER OF GOD, WHAT IS THIS?" or "WHY" even "WTF", because that would encourage a viewer to find out more on the subject. It could also send them on the other direction, which is my concern...hopefully the website address at the bottom of the painting would encourage otherwise.
    But where does one draw the line between making a statement and creating shocking work? is there a boundary between them or does the shocking part come naturally after the statement?
    I got this idea from the fact that my monetary situation is limited to a budget, but my talents are not. And although Im still growing as an artist, I intend to make and leave a mark somewhere somehow on this subject matter which I feel so strongly for.
    anyone else feel that way or is it just me? anyone care?

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    J.L. ALFARO


    "Be who you are and say what you feel,because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    -Dr. Seuss


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  2. #2
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    Good luck man...

    Is always nice to have a purpose to draw something .

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    Great stuff. I saw that film as well, and it left me asking the same question-- what can we do?

    I very much encourage you to create work to raise awareness about this cause- but I would be careful about employing "shock value." As an art student I saw a lot of artists that would create horrifying/distrubing imagery- but very often that limited it to "shock" value itself-- no one wanted to look at it, no one wanted to discuss it, poeple laughed at it and shrugged it off as just another angry, violent or sad image we see so often in so many contexts. For example, of the images you posted, the first and last are, IMO, the best used to convey the idea. It is very possible to get a solid, strong statement across while still engaging the viewer, getting him/her interested and wanting to follow up on this topic- not just see a graphic image and want to flip the page.

    Use your image to get them intersted. To get them to click on that link, to start thinking about it. Not just to slap them in the face with a horror they don't want to think about.

    Good luck, keep us posted, and if nothing else pray for these kids. There's so much horror in this world- child prostitution is just one of thousands of horrible things going on right now, as we type and read. Please pray for them... be active, try to create change- but don't stop praying.

    -Andrew

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    indeed, this is a horrible reality. and anything you can do to deminish it is a help. awareness is always the first step and perhaps your art will do just that. keep us posted and good luck - JAG

    it's only after you've lost everything, that you're free to do anything..
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    I also saw Born into Brothels, and I am SO glad to see that you have been moved to put your art towards this cause. Don't fret so much about shock versus statement that it stalls your work. You know you are out to make a statement, and that alone will keep your work from being shock for shock's sake.

    Good luck!

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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    Thanks guys, and Waffle king, that shock statement you made was what concerns me the most. The shock factor comes at various levels for different people. the pics I posted are for the most part, initial ideas for a piece Im planning on starting soon. I will post it as soon as it is done,(still trying to decide on digital or traditional medium)
    Im not planning on doing violent or gory or even sexual paintings, Im planning on bringing the psychological factors to life, the suffering, mental anguish, the fear, perhaps even the drug escape.
    thanks for the support guys, Ill keep you posted.

    J.L. ALFARO


    "Be who you are and say what you feel,because those that mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
    -Dr. Seuss


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    Aww, these poor babies I wish I had money. I'd go over right now, and maybe teach oil painting or sewing or anything I know about to these kids. Like the woman teaching photography. Anything to steer them off their current paths. This is really sad.

    Thank you for the links, JLAlfaro.

    I wish you the best in your artwork. I don't know what to suggest in terms of subject matter. Obviously bruised and bloodied children would grab attention, but I don't know. Is that exploitation? I would say definitely show the aftermath and not the during. (Obviously, they don't need to be exploited or debased anymore with a sexually-based artwork.) But, then, I'm just at a loss for words at the moment. This whole thing really bugs me. I dunno. Good luck with it all, whichever route you choose to help out.


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    Nothing to add, but good luck with it.

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    I'd rather see a war on child prostitution than a war on drugs. Good luck man.

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    good luck JLAlfaro, a nobel course and I'm sure you'll portary it well

    SHINEY ITS SHINEY!
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    Makes you wonder, why we have it so much better doesn't it. This is a good cause, I'm glad you brought this up. It makes me feel so bad that thought alone doesn't change the world. I haven't seen this movie, is it available on dvd?

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    Speaking of causes and volunteering. . . this is unrelated to child prostitution, but itís another worthy cause and itís a program thatís easy to participate in:

    www.icouldbe.org

    If you have a job, are willing to talk to highschool students about your job, and like posting on message boards, then itís a good opportunity for you. Icouldbe connects students in disadvantaged areas of the US with adults in a range of careers, for the purpose of getting the kids to start thinking about their future careers. Itís all done through e-mail and through icouldbeís website. The students participate initially as a part of their class. Mentors are allowed to participate after a background check, and mentors have the option of being just a little involved, or a lot involved.

    Anyway, if youíre reading this thread and are feeling flustered because you would like to get involved in making the world a better place, but donít know where to start Ė hereís one possible option for you.

    I think you are awesome, and I wish you the best in your endeavors, but I am tired of repeating myself, I am very busy with my new baby, and I am no longer a regular participant here, so please do not contact me to ask for advice on your career or education. All of the advice that I have to offer can already be found in the following links. Thank you.

    Perspective 101, Concept Art 101, Games Industry info,Oil Paint info, Acrylic Paint info, my sketchbook.
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  13. #13
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    Carnifex is offline Registered User Level 17 Gladiator: Spartacus' Dimachaeri
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfwalls
    I'd rather see a war on child prostitution than a war on drugs. Good luck man.
    somehow...yes.
    you could always go the UN route and use well-known comic characters,like the smurfs to portray your feelings. somehow it seems to have a stronger impact (imho) than pictures of (random) children f.ex. dunno really,i wish you good luck with it. I'll look into it myself,because this (child prostitution) is not the way to go.

    edit: though that first pic ("stealing children's lives") has a REALLY unsettling effect on me.

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    lighting! design! perspective! proportion!
    And (self)motivation is still everything.
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