Faces Behind Atrocity Human trafficking is globally pervasive, economically motivated, and emotionally overwhelming. The exhibit “ Faces Behind Atrocities” are portraits of 5 young women, ages 13-16, from 4 different nationalities who have been rescued from the horrors of the trafficking world and are in the healing process. In collaboration with the survivors, Matilde Simas worked to provide a forum for healing through art. In this portrait series low lighting was used to evoke a mood of deception and secrecy that has been endured. In a pure example of courage, many of these woman chose to hide their faces behind a mask to protect their identity. In addition to providing a visual representation of their resilience, beauty, and strength, each woman recorded a written testimony of how they were lead into trafficking and the atrocities they faced.
Matilde Simas is a freelance visual storyteller, whose photography straddles the line between fine art and documentary work. Partnering with non-profit organizations, Simas has traveled to over 50 countries, bearing witness to the enduring power of the human spirit. Simas is passionate about how photography can be used for social change, how it is essential to storytelling, and enables social change groups and organizations to demonstrate the impact of their projects. Recently she has turned her lens to compelling human trafficking stories and documenting the recovery process of human trafficking survivors. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Simas exhibits her work regularly in solo shows, and her fine art prints are included in numerous private and corporate collections, including the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the IOM (UN Migration) Campaigns. Though the majority of her photos appear in humanitarian organization collateral, her images have appeared in publications such as The Guardian, Black & White Magazine and Professional Photographers Magazine. Her client roster includes, among others, Genesis Fund Boston, MA; Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress, Boston, MA; Foundation for Puerto Rico, PR; Big Life, Kenya; HAART Kenya.