• Sofia Maria Paz

Art Matters—Sofia Paz in conversation

For the longest time, I wished I could create art for art’s sake—that my work would be enjoyed for its intrinsic beauty and aesthetic alone. However, as much as I tried to close my eyes to the things I didn’t want to see, my heart couldn’t close to the things I didn’t want to feel. Eventually I stopped resisting, and decided to take on the subjects I am most passionate about and understand from a personal viewpoint. Mainly, the consequences of childhood trauma and its prolonged effects throughout adulthood.

As I began to dive deep into the process of translating the physiological wounds of domestic violence and child sexual exploitation in my art, one thing that became apparent was the large amount of people unaware that the United States ranks in top tier of annual human trafficking. Girls and boys who are victims of sex trafficking are usually targeted by traffickers who know them personally, or are sold out by their own family members. These crimes literally start in our own backyards, and its important to address this fact and not turn a blind eye.

Evoking compassion, raising awareness, and instigating social change is what I want my work to provoke. Even though my art can be difficult to view from an emotional standpoint, it speaks a message of agony, endurance, loss, and survival that I believe needs to be heard.

— Anyone under the age of 18 involved in a commercial sex act, is considered a victim of human trafficking —

Human trafficking hotline: 1-(888)-373-7888

www.missingkids.org

www.polarisproject.org

www.ourrescue.org

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