About the series: After three long years of helping build a bridge to freedom for a group of enslaved prostitutes in the Cambodian, Ian was confronting the realisation that opportunity was not enough. The arduous and precarious task of building trust and developing relationships with some of these women - who had no reason to trust anyone – had educated him in the complexity of their lives. Regardless, he had no foresight that the choice to cross may have been a bridge too far.
Ian had something a lot more valuable than a gritty photographic expose of the sex-slave industry in Cambodia. He nervously handed over all recorded photos and evidence to the NGO’s and hounded them for action. On November 12th 2014, the shacks were raided and eight women and three children were rescued, while two traffickers were charged and prosecuted.
Unfortunately, many of the women returned to the only thing they knew, to their addictions and to where the pressure to change disappeared and things made sense. However, the inter-generational chain has been broken with children receiving education and support and that will hopefully lead to a life of self-determination and options.
About the Photographer: Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Ian Flanders is a self-trained photographer who seeks to challenge himself and others with what he captures through his lens. He attempts to engage and confront his viewers with the often, harsh reality he captures in his photographs.
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