Aug 29, 2013
09:05 AM
Arts & Entertainment

In Downtown New London, the Provenance Center Enlightens and Educates Through Art

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In its first four years, the Provenance Center's gallery spaces (three in all) have hosted 45 shows—spotlighting artists from Latin America, the Middle East and China—as well as thematic exhibits addressing such subjects as Death Penalty: Justice & Consequences, Italian Vibrations (designed to celebrate 2013 as "The Year of Italian Culture in the United States") and World of Woman: Global Images. There have also been special collaborations with Mitchell College and Connecticut College, including off-site exhibits and talks by visiting professors. Mijoba says that the Provenance Center's most striking exhibit so far has been Child Trafficking: 21st Century Slaves, a joint project with NOT FOR SALE Campaign Connecticut, Operation 21st Century (a student-led movement to encourage young people to end slavery) and the Connecticut Humaities Council.

Says Mijoba, "We looked at human trafficking from two perspectives: the consumer side—how child slavery is a part of the chocolate we eat, and the clothes we wear—and the ugly, dangerous underground of sex trafficking. I didn't realize that human trafficking has become the third most profitable illegal enterprise in the world, after drugs and arms trafficking. It's very cheap to buy a human being today, about $90, the same you pay for a pair of shoes you discard. World poverty creates these vulnerabilities, and yet, trafficking goes on in our own backyard to a surprising extent." She points out that 30 percent of young runaways in the United States go on to be victims of child trafficking. "Fortunately, there's an abolitionist movement worldwide—and many of the artists we featured were abolitionist artists."

Provenance Center, 155-191 State St., New London, (860) 405-5887 (provenancecenter.com). Hours Wed.-Fri 1-5:30, Sat. by appointment. Check the website for other center activities, such as talks, workshops and films.

In Downtown New London, the Provenance Center Enlightens and Educates Through Art

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