The product of a self-directed trip to Nepal in the winter of 2007-2008, this exhibit chronicles the conditions that make Nepali women vulnerable to sexual trafficking. The photographs, a mix of black-and-white and color prints, also tell the story of cultural differences and exchanges.
Every year, 10,000 Nepali girls and women are trafficked across an open border into India, where they are forced into lives of prostitution. Ms. Hamilton studied this problem, documenting Kathmandu and the countryside through her lens. The result is a set of starkly beautiful black-and-white photos depicting the challenges of Nepali life and the conditions that contribute to sexual trafficking. Her images stand in striking contrast to the vibrant color photos taken of and by Nepali women and girls in a women’s rehabilitation home known as the Princess Home.
Ms. Hamilton worked at this “safe house,” gaining the trust and confidence of its women. Recognizing the limits her Western perspective would bring to her photography, Ms. Hamilton gave the women and girls digital cameras to document their lives. Their colorful images capture the beauty and security they found within the boundaries of the Princess Home. Together, these photographs form a moving dialogue between East and West, hope and despair. They relate how very different women came together, overcame language and cultural barriers, and shared stories that emphasized their sameness.
This exhibition was hosted by the Carolina Women’s Center and Office of International Affairs.