On Friday, June 30, wet-plate photographer Shane Balkowitsch worked with human rights activist Stacy Schaffer to preserve her image on glass. “I’m so honored to be a part of the project,” Schaffer said. “There are so many amazing North Dakotans doing incredible work for human rights.”
Schaffer is the founder of the Bismarck-based 31:8 Project, a nonprofit organization that educates, advocates and raises awareness about human trafficking to prevent and combat labor and sex trafficking through the United States and the world, specifically within North Dakota. The organization provides informative seminars, conducts research, and creates curriculums applicable to all levels of education and forms of human trafficking. Through research, 31:8 Project examines the causes, impact, and issues surrounding human trafficking and its victims. 31:8 regularly educates and collaborates with medical institutions, faith-based organizations, colleges and minority groups.
Reporter Andrew Horn of KFYR-TV Bismarck documented the wet-plate process and interviewed Schaffer for a future news segment about the project.
The final image, “Hope”, will be used as part of the Those Among Us images captured for publication and exhibition.
“Those Among Us: The Human Rights Champions of North Dakota Volume 1” is a multi-disciplinary media project documenting the human rights and social justice champions of North Dakota. Through portrait photographs, essays written by the participants and video interviews capturing discussions about the motivation behind and the importance of their work, this project strives to create a historical record of the important work currently taking place in North Dakota in a compelling and visually creative way. The project features the work of wet-plate photographer Shane Balkowitsch and independent filmmaker Sean Coffman.
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