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The Art of Survival

October 16, 2014

The Organization for Prostitution Survivors (OPS) educates the community and helps survivors of sexual trauma heal through art. 

Available via the full episode.  The surivor profiled in this piece is no longer affiliated with OPS.

Concrete Ghosts
by Venus Autumn Velatura

Intensely bittersweet days
haunted by shades of sorrow
blood stains on the sidewalk,
the rotting corpse of a bird
whose skull is revealed, next to
the places we slept,
the places we wept

Grief for something dead & transformed
frustration, helplessness

change remains
life remains
nothing remains
love remains,
dead and risen
now here, nowhere,
on these streets of heartbreak and madness




Made possible in part by


Aileen Imperial

Aileen Imperial is a multimedia and documentary producer with a commitment to thoughtful observation and engagement. Her work has aired nationally on the PBS American Masters series, PBS NewsHour, and she is a 4-time Emmy winner for feature videos in the Arts, Culture, and Human Interest. Find her on Twitter: @imperealize

More stories by Aileen Imperial

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I felt really honored and grateful to Aileen and the culture at KCTS 9 that gave her the resources and opportunity to provide such a safe and positive environment in which I could tell a small bit of my story and how OPS has helped me exit the life of sexual exploitation from street prostitution. Thank you all - Channel 9, Aileen, and all the donors and other supporters who came together to make this happen... This is a great example of how we all make our community a better place to live!

Thank you many times in return! As a PBS affiliate we strive to provide a platform for a diversity of perspectives and views to be expressed. Thank you for allowing us a glimpse of your powerful story; as a community we all benefit. A privilege for me to have had this opportunity to work with you, all the best to you and the women of OPS.

These stories of true courage to press through a very dark time to find a place of True Beauty through Art. I was touched by each one of the Amazing people that were covered in these stories of survival. They have found a way to not only over come, but to now give back in such a mighty way, to give others that are still struggling in the dark Hope! I want to "Thank you" for telling their stories, through it they bring Hope to so many. I would love to check out the Art Show and will be Praying for continued success for the short film, all the way to the Academy Awards Night in Feb.

I just caught the last couple of minutes of the.program tonight on the Survivor Art Workshops and can't wait to see the exhibit next week. Making art is a very healing experience, I am a self taught artist who moved to Seattle in March and I would like to volunteer to help your program any way I can.I primarily use repurposed materials I collect from everyday life -papers,found objects,clothing ,thread and wood to tell my stories. I like making collages,fiber art and assemblages. We are all perfectly imperfect and having fun while making art is one of the most important parts! I am going to try to try to leave a message for you at the Gallery so you can contact me if you want. You and your artists ROCK!