Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Enslaved: True Stories of Modern Day Slavery edited by Jesse Sage and Liora Kasten
Enslaved was certainly eye-opening. Whilst I was aware that modern day slavery existed, I had no idea of the extent and scope of it. To pick just a few narratives, in this book we meet: Micheline, a Haitian woman trafficked to the USA; Abuk, captured in a raid in Sudan; Jill, kept as a sex slave in suburban America; Beatrice, who thought she had got a job as a maid only to be enslaved and Harry, a victim of Chinese labour camps. There's also a narrative of a slave owner in Mauritiana, that still operates what we would think of as a traditional slavery system. Taken together, the chapters definitely raise awareness and they opened my mind to the suffering of millions of people around the world.
The more I read, the more the connection between slavery and poverty became clear. People who are living in extreme poverty are the ones that will apply for au-pair or maid positions abroad, without knowing enough about the situation to know if they are safe. They are the women driven to work as prostitutes, vulnerable to sex trafficking. The final chapter in the collection is about what we can do as readers and abolitionists, but it didn't really address this connection. Whilst I agree that there's much Western citizens can do about slavery (raising awareness being the least of them), until poverty as a whole is tackled it will continue. Corrupt governments and failing states have much to do with modern day poverty.
I think Enslaved is an important book, one to pass one and discuss with the people you see regularly. Modern slavery is an invisible thing, suffered by people that generally aren't educated or literate enough to raise awareness or push for change. It's not an easy read but it will make you think.
First Published: 2006
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Ah, the books that make you uncomfortable and make you think all at the same time. I have a love/hate relationship with those, but they're necessary I think.ReplyDelete
Just reading your summary's making me a little ill, but I think I'll be looking out for this one despite that.
They are necessary and well worth reading. It's a book to make you think.Delete
This is one that will definitely make me uncomfortable, but those are sometimes the most thought-provoking books to read. Great review.ReplyDelete
It did make me uncomfortable, especially as I had to idea of the extent of slavery in the modern world. But I'm glad I read it.Delete
It's easy to forget that situations like these still exist when we live in such relative ease and comfort.ReplyDelete
Have you read Half the Sky? It is specific to women, but I think it opens our eyes to many of the situations that women live in around the world, slavery being one of them.
I have read Half the Sky - I remember finding the rape statistics absolutely shocking, even for women in the Western world. I certainly have a wonderful life compared to most women out there.Delete
It sounds like a heartbreaking but necessary read. I'd never heard of this book, thanks for putting it under my radar.ReplyDelete
There was some hope too, most of the victims had gone on to become advocates but not all had rebuilt their lives.Delete
This sounds fascinating. Slavery isn't really something I ever think about but perhaps I should. I'll be looking this one up.ReplyDelete
I never really thought about it before now, I knew about sex trafficking but I had no idea of the scope of slavery.Delete
hi Sam! I check in every once in a while to make sure my favorite bloggers are still here and to see what you are reading. This one I am very interested in. Being from the South, slavery has always been a frequent topic, even when I was young.ReplyDelete
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PS I read The Dovekeepers and I loved it!!! Thank you so much.
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