Leila Segal – project founder, lead facilitator
Leila spent two years researching and developing Voice of Freedom, spending time in shelters for refugees in Tel Aviv and Turin. She combines artistic credentials with a background in advocacy and community projects. She trained as a barrister, and volunteered for Rights of Women and The Free Representation Unit, going on to become author of Breathe – Stories from Cuba (2016). Leila led The Jaffa Photography Project, which brought together Jewish and Arab teenagers to document and explore their lives, and worked for a year with charity PhotoVoice, on Change the Picture, a project with prostituted women in London’s East End.
Matt Daw – project manager
Matt’s goal is to amplify the voices of marginalised and vulnerable communities and create social change using photography to bridge divides in society. He was based at charity PhotoVoice for over six years, designing and managing participatory photography projects all around the world. In 2010 Matt was project manager on anti-trafficking project See it Our Way. For this project PhotoVoice partnered with international NGO World Vision to work with young people affected by child trafficking across the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Matt travelled to Albania, Armenia, Lebanon, Romania and Pakistan to set up photography workshops with young people in communities that represent source, transit and destination points for trafficking. The photos by the young people have been showcased in reports and campaigns by World Viision to inform action and policy around this important area, and were showcased at the UN Symposium on Child Trafficking in Belgium in 2011.
Dawn Miller – project consultant
Dawn is developing an educational project in Ghana that will offer skills to young people who don’t have access to training and employment, particularly those in rural communities. She has a degree in criminology and a diploma in integrative counselling. Dawn is a support officer at the charity Fine Cell Work, which helps prisoners develop independent, crime-free lives through craftwork. She provides practical and emotional support for those interested in joining the programs. Dawn is advising Voice of Freedom by sharing her knowledge and experience of the conditions faced by young people who may be at risk of trafficking in Ghana.
Liz Orton – workshop facilitator
Liz Orton is a visual artist, educator and participatory practitioner. She has worked on many participatory photography projects, including with PhotoVoice, Performing Medicine and The Photographers Gallery, with a wide range of communities. Liz is an Associate Lecturer in Photography at the London College of Communication, and teaches participatory and collaborative practices. She co-authored Photography and Integration: Photography with Young Refugees (2008), and was a contributing author to Sensory Photography: For Blind and Partially Sighted People (2009). Liz won the Mead Fellowship in 2015, and was also awarded a Wellcome Trust Arts grant for a collaborative project about medical imaging. She has exhibited widely and in 2016 her first book, A Handful of Soil for the Whole Horizon, was shortlisted for the MACK First Book Award, the Kassel Dummy Award and the Unseen Photobook Award.
Caroline Irby – workshop facilitator
Caroline Irby will co-facilitate the Covid-response digital workshops and forum with Leila in 2021, working alongside Leila in mounting the public exhibition at the end of the project. Caroline worked for a year on Change the Picture, a participatory photography project in London at the U-Turn Centre for prostituted women. Much of Caroline’s work is focused on immigration and refugee issues. She photographs regularly for UNHCR, and is the author of two books: A Child from Everywhere (2010), for which she photographed and interviewed children from 185 countries now living in the UK, and Someone Else’s Mother (2020), which tells the story of the Filipina woman who lived with Caroline’s family for 22 years, and the parallel lives of the four children she left behind. Her work has been exhibited widely in the UK and internationally.
Marijn Alders – support facilitator
Dutch photographer and journalist Marijn Alders has a keen interest in human rights and the use of visual media to represent and advocate for the needs of marginalised groups. Migration and the strength of the human spirit are central to her work. She is interested in the vulnerable position of women in the aftermath of war, and the resilience they demonstrate in starting new lives.
Jessica Ling – project intern
Jessica is a qualified Australia lawyer with a passion for engaging in charitable projects. She worked in Australia as a Legal Officer for a native title service provider, facilitating federal court litigation on the behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, with the goal of gaining land rights for those who were forcibly removed from the traditional lands after English settlement of Australia.
Jacqueline Crooks – fundraising consultant
Jacqueline is a business consultant with over 20 years’ experience in the not-for-profit and arts sectors, driving successful fundraising strategies, staff and volunteer training. She is a member of the Institute of Fundraising. Jacqueline is also an author, writing fiction that addresses the exploitation of children and women. She delivers writing projects within the not-for-profit sector, and volunteers for a Caribbean elders charity and a refugee charity.
Lisa Sai Li – fundraising volunteer
Lisa is a social anthropologist with a heart for empowering marginalised groups. She worked in Germany, Kenya, and China, helping companies design communication strategies before joining the non-profit sector as a specialist in youth development. Lisa is also passionate about creative writing, especially the life stories of ordinary people. Her work has been published as book chapters and on mainstream media outlets.
Jiyoung Byun – fundraising volunteer
Jiyoung is a social scientist specialising in social policy, with a keen interest in migration and gender. She has worked in the international development sector supporting the implementation of development policies addressing gender-based violence and corruption in South Korea. She is passionate about migrant integration policies and the intersectionality of marginalised groups.
Patricia Vasto – social media volunteer
Patricia is a business graduate with experience in social media marketing and brand communication. She is now working towards a masters in sociology, where her research focuses on the intersection between arts, culture, and activism in Brazil and the UK. She is passionate about supporting and understanding the ways in which marginalised groups reposition themselves and reclaim their position in society.
Saba Khan – creative advisor
Saba Khan is a visual artist and the founder of ArtEase. She makes vibrant, powerful oil and mixed-media paintings and drawings. Her works focus on the everyday choices ordinary people are forced to make in a world that does not benefit the majority. She also explores surreal, random moments in our sensual, emotional, social and geopolitical lives. Saba is passionate about the transformative power of art and about making art accessible to all. She founded ArtEase to combine wellbeing, social justice and creativity, and has worked with refugees, older people, people with special needs, and survivors of domestic violence and torture.
Jasmine Cooray – creative advisor
Jasmine Cooray is a poet, arts facilitator and psychotherapist. She has designed and facilitated creative writing projects in a variety of settings, including schools, colleges, and for organisations such as The Barbican Centre, the Southbank Centre, and First Story. She interweaves principles of self-care and self-exploration into her facilitation style. Jasmine runs a private psychotherapy practice and is committed to making the tools of the therapeutic realm accessible to more people.
Justin Snyder – creative advisor
Justin Snyder is a concert pianist based in Detroit. Informed by inclusive and varying perspectives of art, he has collaborated with artists of diverse disciplines, including dancers, poets, performance artists, filmmakers, fashion designers, and perfumers. As a co-founder of Escforescent, Justin curates immersive and multi-sensory performative experiences exploring synesthetic connections between our various intertwined senses. Justin has also worked on behalf of the U.S. State Department throughout China as well as in Chile, building bridges through cultural exchange. He has also been a frequent collaborator with The Canales Project and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America through a the program Finding Your Voice, working with youth in Arizona in exploring themes of identity through creative expression.
Pippa Hockton – supervising psychotherapist
Pippa provides professional supervision and support for staff working on Voice of Freedom. She is the founder and director of Street Talk, a charity that provides therapy, advocacy and support services for women in street-based prostitution and women who have escaped trafficking.
We are extremely grateful to Mastewal Terefe Taddese and Avekylesh Mleket-Kolech who worked with us as interpreters during the October 2013 workshops at the Ma’agan Safe House in Petach Tikvah. Thanks to Shelly Inbar for sterling work as our fixer in Israel and logistical support throughout the 2013 workshops. Thanks to Chloe Grahame for help with fundraising, and Kate Watson for working as support facilitator for the London workshops in Winter 2014-15. Thank you Giorgia Mendola, Prince D Slim and Evelyn Lopez, volunteers in Asti who supported us so amazingly during the Voice of Freedom Italy workshops at Piam Onlus shelter in October 2017. As of Autumn 2020, we are delighted to welcome fundraising volunteers Lisa Sai Li and Jiyoung Byun, who are helping Voice of Freedom grow into her new charity status, and social media volunteer Patricia Vasto.
Voice of Freedom is a registered charity. Our chair of trustees is Alex Grant. Alex is joined by Isabella Okoh, and Paul Ellis, as trustees.
Alex is an experienced project manager and supporter of the arts. He has organised large-scale events in sectors such as renewable energy, electrified transport and cyber-security. Most recently he has been heading up all operations of a technology start-up during a rapid growth period. Alex has supported a series of charitable projects offering project management expertise, and has been a supporter of Voice of Freedom since 2014.
Isabella was born in Nigeria and now lives in the UK. Since 2016, she has been a consultant to Voice of Freedom. Isabella has a degree in business studies, and is interested in the arts and photography, in particular in how this can be used in activism for women’s rights. She has created a body of photography reflecting her experience of life in Nigeria and the UK, her journey, and the difficulties that migrants face.
Paul is an experienced photojournalist who has run numerous photography education courses in the community, and who is now Creative Support Leader, and Education Manager, at Photofusion, a gallery and photographic educational resource in Brixton, South London.
Helen Bamber Foundation
Voice of Freedom works in London with clients of The Helen Bamber Foundation, a human rights charity founded by Holocaust survivor Helen Bamber in 2005. Their specialist team of therapists, doctors and legal experts support survivors of human rights violations. The Foundation grew from the recognition that people who have suffered any kind of prolonged inter-personal violence, whether from human trafficking, war; community, or gender-based violence, show similar physical and psychological symptoms to torture survivors. The Foundation extends the model of care that Helen Bamber developed over decades for people who suffered state torture to a wider range of survivors who previously lacked specialist support.
Anti-Slavery International, founded in 1839, is the world’s oldest international human rights organisation and the only charity in the United Kingdom to work exclusively against slavery. Anti-Slavery International works at local, national and international levels to eliminate all forms of slavery around the world by supporting research, working with local organisations to raise public awareness of slavery, educating the public about the realities of slavery and campaigning for its end. Anti-Slavery International has promoted Voice of Freedom on their website and social media platforms, in the lead-up to, and following, International Day against Slavery on October 18.
Human trafficking foundation
Voice of Freedom is a member of the Human Trafficking Foundation Advisory Forum.The Human Trafficking Foundation is a UK-based charity which grew out of the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking. The foundation was created to support and add value to the work of the many charities and agencies operating to combat human trafficking in the UK.
Shiva Hotels founded the Shiva Foundation in 2012 to contribute to the fight against human trafficking. Shiva Foundation aims for collaboration not competition, engagement not blame, and system change across institutions. Together with the Hilton Foundation and iPartner India, the foundation organised a launch event at Hilton Heathrow Terminal 5 Hotel, raising £180,000 for anti-human trafficking organisations across India and the UK. Funds were distributed to those involved in the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of victims, including Prajwala (Hyderabad), Gram Niyojan Kendra (Rajasthan), Odanadi (Mysore), Apran (Mumbai) and Helen Bamber Foundation (London). Voice of Freedom is exhibiting at the launch of Shiva Foundation’s Women for Change breakfast club in London, September 2015.
The Voice of Freedom Italy workshops took place in October 2017 at Piam Onlus shelter for trafficked women in Asti. Piam Onlus helps women to exit prostitution and find employment, contacting trafficking victims via street units to give information about healthcare and their rights. The shelter works with police, judiciary and local authorities so that traffickers can be prosecuted. It offers counselling, legal assistance, education, training and job placement. All services are developed by a multi-ethnic team, including cultural mediators and peer educators.
Voice of Freedom ran the Israel and UK workshops in partnership with PhotoVoice. PhotoVoice’s vision is for a world in which no one is denied the opportunity to speak out and be heard. Working in partnerships with other charities, NGOs and community organisations PhotoVoice designs and delivers participatory photography, digital storytelling and self-advocacy projects for marginalised communities across the world. PhotoVoice has worked with refugees in the UK and abroad, street children, disabled people, indigenous tribes, communities affected by human trafficking, HIV positive people and many more.
Rene Cassin is a London-based non-profit organisation that uses the Jewish experience and Jewish values to campaign and educate on universal human rights issues such as discrimination, slavery, detention and genocide. The organisation is named in honour of Monsieur Rene Cassin, a French Jew and Nobel Laureate who was one of the principal co-drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Rene Cassin enjoys accreditation at the United Nations, and uses this accreditation to give voice to Jewish values within the international human rights community. Rene Cassin provides Voice of Freedom with fundraising and research support, and helps disseminate the women’s photography through its network of activists and campaigning partners.
Thomson Reuters Foundation
The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, the world’s biggest news organisation. Their annual Trust Conference is a human rights forum committed to finding real solutions to fight slavery, empower women, and advance human rights worldwide. The event convenes 600 delegates from the worlds of activism, civil society, law, government and business in the heart of London for two full days of inspiration, networking, and action. Voice of Freedom mounted a special exhibition at the 2018 conference, of photography by Nigerian women who had been trafficked to Italy via Libya. One of our participants, Sarah Oyediran, was granted a scholarship to attend the conference and present her work.
Nottingham Rights Lab
The Rights Lab is home to the world’s leading experts in modern slavery, and has built a large-scale research platform for ending slavery. To help achieve this goal, they are working with a global community of policy-makers, civil society actors and businesses – a community with a shared vision of ending slavery in our lifetime. Voice of Freedom has partnered with the Rights Lab to exhibit photography on their website and in a permanent exhibition at the Lab, to be opened in March 2019. The Rights Lab has held up photography produced by women on Voice of Freedom as a leading example of ethically produced, survivor-led imagery.
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