Benedictine College Hosts Art Installation by Hasna Sal

Benedictine College Hosts Art Installation by Hasna Sal

Hasna SalCatholic Relief Services University (CRS University), a student group on campus at Benedictine College, hosted an artwork installation, Into the Light – Maquette, by Overland Park artist Hasna Sal. The installation is part of the college’s Social Justice Week, Feb. 21-27. This year’s theme is human trafficking. Sal’s art has been displayed in a number of locations in the Kansas City metro area to help bring awareness and shine a light on the epidemic of human trafficking facing our nation and across the world.

“I can’t believe that this is happening in my city! It is a pandemic! But it is being treated in the public like a silent, deadly disease. As an artist, I felt I had a responsibility to be an advocate of change,” said Hasna.

The annual Social Justice Week is celebrating its 35th anniversary on campus. The event allows students and various social awareness groups on campus to help students focus on the bigger pictures in life, and some of the struggles people are facing. However, not only to be made aware of the struggles, but to then also realize how they can get involved and help solve those problems. Programs and presentations are free and open to the public.

The installation was on display in the McCarthy Gallery of Art, located in Bishop Fink Hall at Benedictine College. Sal was one of the many featured speakers for Social Justice Week.

“As a club on campus, CRS University strives each year to address our mission in unique and impactful ways. One of the four pillars of CRSU is human trafficking. We found no better way to do so then through the display of Hasna Sal’s artwork,” said Miller.

Miriam Miller, president of Catholic Relief Services at Benedictine had heard of Hasna Sal, and her work, but had not viewed any of her pieces prior to the installation at Benedictine. Meredith Doyle, Director of Service-Learning at Benedictine shared a short documentary with Miller that had been made about Hasna Sal and her Into The Light memorial that had been dedicated to victims and survivor of human trafficking at Lykins Park in Kansas City. It is the first memorial to ever recognize and support human trafficking victims and survivors.

“Victims of human trafficking get lured and trapped into this crime between the ages of 11 and 13; essentially we are talking about middle school aged children. They get into this situation because they aren’t being heard, or cared for properly. We must encourage our children to speak and share what they are going through and dealing with in life. Someone out there will listen!” implored Hasna.

Into the Light - Maquette

Miller shared Hasna’s thoughts and hopes that by bringing the problem more into the public eye and addressing the problem those things can change for the better.

“I am hoping that both Hasna’s art and talk will bring the issue of human trafficking out of the dark and into the forefront of people’s consciousness. Into The Light is a beautifully appropriate name as human trafficking, despite its prevalence and tragedy, is often forgotten or not spoken about. CRSU believes Hasna’s presentation will facilitate conversations about this difficult subject, as well as move students to become more deeply involved in the fight against it,” stated Miller.

The work displayed at Benedictine College was a scaled down, model version of the installation at Lykins Park.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named in the Top 10 in the Midwest of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report, the best private college in Kansas by The Wall Street Journal, and one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.