True stories of modern-day slavery: Exhibit at Washington and Lee

A new exhibit-installation on modern-day human trafficking, directed by Stephanie Sandberg, will be on display in McCarthy Gallery of Holekamp Hall at the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics at Washington and Lee University beginning Jan. 26.

The show opens with an artist’s talk and reception on Jan. 26 from 5:30-7 p.m. and runs through May 31. The talk, reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

“Stories in Blue” is based on the real-life stories of six human trafficking survivors from Michigan. Sandberg spent a year interviewing survivors and learning about their experiences, crafting these into a series of films, a photographic installation and a live performance.

This project is a response to the high rate of human trafficking in Michigan, which Sandberg noticed while she lived there. Michigan, as well as Virginia, both rank in the top 10 states where sex trafficking is a major societal problem. “There is much work to do to raise awareness about this problem and the stories need to be addressed as a significant source of knowledge and inspiration for how the change might occur,” said Sandburg.

“Stories in Blue” features original music by Theo Ndwallie II, original photography by Ryan Spencer-Reed, with text and direction by Sandberg, who is an assistant professor of theater at Washington and Lee.

The McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.