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Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery

1 October – 22 November 2019 | Monday – Friday 10.00 – 17.00

Free admission into the exhibition

On 15 October, join Sara Shamma; Rachel Witkin, Helen Bamber Foundation; Professor Parosha Chandran, The Dickson Poon School of Law (King’s College London); and Dr Siân Oram, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) for a panel discussion as part of the Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery exhibition programme.

After becoming aware of the display and sale of women and girls in slave markets in Syria and Iraq, Shamma was moved to explore and draw attention to the psychological impact of modern slavery. Through interviews with survivors of modern slavery and professionals working in the field, the artist brings a raw and unique artistic perspective to one of today’s greatest challenges.

The event will explore and extrapolate the political, artistic and humanitarian issues raised by the exhibition and is being supported by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience's Diversity & Inclusion Team. The discussion will take place in Bush House Lecture Theatre 2 with a reception afterwards in the Arcade and an opportunity to see the exhibition.

Women in Mind is a series of events by the Women and Mental Health Special Interest Group, Royal College of Psychiatrists, in collaboration with the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London, aiming to engage health professionals and the public in debate and discussion about challenges to women’s mental health across the life cycle. 

About the speakers

Sara Shamma is one of Syria's most celebrated contemporary artists, whose works can be found in both public and private collections around the globe. Born in Damascus, Syria, to a Syrian father and Lebanese mother, she moved to London in 2016, where she currently lives and works, under the auspices of an Exceptional Talent Visa. She has been the recipient of various international art awards and was a prizewinner in the 2004 BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, London; she became the United Nations World Food programmes 'Celebrity Partner' in 2010.

Rachel Witkin is Head of Counter-Trafficking at the Helen Bamber Foundation (HBF), where she leads on all aspects of client work with victims of trafficking, ranging from initial assessments to ongoing protection work. Her work includes legal protection, assisting clients in police investigations and judicial proceedings. Rachel has written on behalf of HBF for publications including: Trafficking Survivor Care Standards (2015, with the Human Trafficking Foundation), Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Survivors of Modern Slavery (2015, supported by The Freedom Fund) and Trafficking in Human Beings Amounting to Torture and other forms of Ill-Treatment (2013, with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe). In 2015, Rachel was awarded the 2015 Modern Slavery Media Award for ‘outstanding contribution to the fight against modern slavery’.

Parosha Chandran is a Professor of Practice in Modern Slavery Law in The Dickson Poon School of Law, King's College London. She is a human rights barrister (One Pump Court), a specialist in modern slavery law and a world-leading expert on the law relating to human trafficking for the United Nations, the Council of Europe and Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). She represents adult and child victims of modern slavery and human trafficking and has set critical legal trafficking precedents in the asylum, slavery, criminal non-punishment, civil and public law contexts.

Dr Sian Oram is a Senior Lecturer in Women's Mental Health and Head of the Section of Women’s Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King's College London.  She is a leading researcher globally in the field of human trafficking and health, and has published extensively in this field.  Dr Oram participates in a range of human trafficking advisory and stakeholder groups and her work has informed guidelines and reports produced by the World Health Organisation, NHS England, and Public Health England. She currently leads the UKRI Violence Abuse and Mental Health Network, is Deputy Director (KCL) of the NIHR Mental Health Policy Research Unit, and leads a programme of research investigating interventions to support the recovery of trafficked people.


Sara Shamma: Modern Slavery is a collaboration between the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London and artist Sara Shamma as part of King’s Artists. It is supported by the King’s Sanctuary Programme and by the university’s Culture team.


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Event details

Bush House Lecture Theatre 2
Bush House
Strand campus, 30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG